This may be the biggest irony ever – but even bond managers reportedly are questioning the wisdom of buying bonds now.
"We're in the danger zone," says Bill Larkin, a portfolio manager at Cabot Money Management in Salem, Mass. "There's likely to be some sort of hit to the bond market."
Government bond prices are dropping as the economic recovery finally takes hold and the government officials try to fund a massive budget. The prices of corporate bonds are looking expensive after a ferocious year-long rally, Fortune magazine reports.
“With forecasters projecting higher interest rates and the market anxiously awaiting the Federal Reserve's next baby step toward normal policy, some strategists are counseling investors to hold more cash — and to brace for a wild spring,” writes Colin Barr, author of the article.
Treasury yields have climbed steadily in recent weeks, in part because of weak demand at some auctions. The 10-year yield rose above 4 percent on Monday for the first time since June. The yield is a widely used benchmark for mortgages and other consumer loans. The yield has not ended a day above 4 percent since October 2008, just before the credit crisis peaked and investors poured into Treasurys, pushing their yields sharply lower.
Wednesday, interest rates moved sharply lower in the bond market after investors snapped up a new supply of 10-year Treasury notes. The yield on the 10-year note fell to 3.91 percent from 3.96 percent late Tuesday after Wednesday afternoon's auction. The price of the note maturing in February 2020 rose 12/32 to 97 22/32.
The government saw strong demand for $21 billion in 10-year notes, bucking a recent trend. The bid-to-cover ratio, a measure of demand, was 3.72. That means that for every dollar in notes the Treasury sold, there was $3.72 worth of bids. The bid-to-cover ratio was 3.45 and 2.67 at the last two auctions for 10-year notes.
"It feels like we're starting to go too far, too fast," said Benji Bailey, co-manager of the MMA Intermediate Income fund.
Meanwhile, Larkin suggests that investors who want to add bond exposure stick to maturities of three years.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. bonds aren’t the only government bonds which are about to see spiraling rates, as Japan and other nations are facing higher rates too under pressure from investors.
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