Eerily Serene Risk-Off Markets

S&P 500 had a mixed day, and the credit market underlines the shift to risk-off. Halfway shift, to be precise – the high yield corporate bonds recovered the intraday downside but value sold off all the way to the closing bell. Well, rising yields used to add to tech‘s problems since mid-Feb, and retreating yields don‘t breathe enough life into the sector now. It‘s clearly visible that the high beta segments are facing the yields‘ headwinds while $NYFANG is in the black, but more than a little lagging.

The Treasury market reprieve I announced on May 18 to last more than a good few weeks, is here. While it works to lift tech and hamper value, the days of value doing fine are far from over as the VTV:QQQ ratio illustrates:

(…) We‘re still in the value outperforming growth environment (reflation and reopening themes), it‘s just right now (last few days) that tech is pulling stronger ahead than value. … Value‘s reaction to the yields trajectory ahead would be telling, and I have no doubts there is quite some more juice left in the long value trade (and that the Russell 2000 isn‘t rolling over to the downside here).

Emerging markets are welcoming the dollar woes and yields reprieve, and the Russell 2000 isn‘t too much of a drag either. VIX refused further downside yesterday and is hedging off bets as much as the options players do – no change in prior trends here, just a move away from the complacent end of the spectrum. The stock bull run is still about dips being bought.

The key move is in the debt markets and concerns inflation (expectations). For now, it appears that the Fed trial balloons (Kaplan, even Yellen – thinking about talking taper, suggesting rate hikes) have worked in dialing back the inflation trades to a degree (stock market correction isn‘t thus necessary for players to pile into Treasuries) – more about the Fed‘s „coming soon“ taper bluff:

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