Nothing ever goes in a straight line. For every rally there will inevitably be a retracement, a minor selloff often of no more than profit taking. These are generally pauses where a durable trend either overcomes doubts, or succumbs to them. In the stock market, they call it the wall of worry. In bonds, it’s become a bit more complicated.
At this particular moment, US treasuries are again being sold. It’s really not to this point all that much, but you wouldn’t know it from the commentary trying to describe it. The headlines all scream in unison BOND ROUT! It is in many ways the opposite of stocks, where even larger corrections (like the liquidations in 215 and 2016) get shrugged off as nothing of great concern.
This disparity is, however, quite easily explained. Stocks on the way up are a reflection of the way the world is supposed to be. It just isn’t possible, in mainstream convention, for prolonged economic agony. Share prices as they are now, as they have been since especially QE3 in 2012, are signaling the end of the malaise and the belated return of conventional sense. Bond yields going only lower are a loud (and more robust) contradiction to good orthodox understanding of the way the whole world might actually work.
This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jeffrey P. Snider – July 7, 2017.