The Continuum (the systematic downtrend in long-term Treasury yields) has for decades given the Fed the green light on inflation. Sometimes it runs hot (as per the red arrows) and sometimes it runs cold. One year ago people were confused about why a declining stock market was not influencing Fed chief Powell to reverse his relatively hawkish tone.
The orange arrow shows exactly why, per this post that will be one year old tomorrow (Dec. 19)…
Inflation is what the Fed does, after all. But it needs periodic deflationary episodes in order to keep the racket going. I will stick with my original view that the Fed is not adverse to a market correction or even a bear market. It is exactly what is needed to reload the next inflation gun.
The “BOND BEAR MARKET!!!” stuff ran very hot on this cycle as the 30 year yield broke the Continuum’s limiter (monthly EMA 100) before failing over the last few weeks (to the surprise of many, but not us ;-)). As I have noted previously, in my opinion the Fed does not want a bond bear (breakout in yields) or its running mate, a breakout in inflation expectations because the Fed is an inflation machine. But it has inflated against this pleasant continuum of declining yields over the decades that has encompassed the entire training of most of us as market participants.
I am not saying that a red dashed line is the be all end all of market analysis. But it is a marker that we have used in NFTRH since 2008 in order to correctly interpret the macro situation. My interpretation today is that the Fed has countered the cost-push inflationary pressures that by definition are injected through fiscally (political) stimulative policy by withdrawing liquidity until something breaks. Ironically, that has involved raising the Fed Funds interest rate and withdrawing QE, which theoretically would raise long-term yields. But when something breaks, the risk ‘off’ herds buy the bond driving yields down.
Fast-forward to today. The herds bought the bond alright; they bought it for most of 2019 amid ‘trade war!!’ and ‘inverted yield curve!!’ headlines and associated economic fears. And so the Continuum dropped again, along with inflation concerns and logically, the Fed’s hawkishness after the Q4 2018 orange alert. Continue reading "Wooing Inflation"