Stocks, Gold And The Troubling Yields

Yesterday‘s consolidation in stocks was a bullish one, and the S&P 500 upswing has good prospects of proceeding unimpeded. Strange but true if you consider that also a plan to considerably raise taxes would be announced today, so as to help pay for the stimulus wave. The bond markets are calmly overlooking that so far, enabling the run to the 4,000 mark.

And it still appears a question of time. Inflation isn‘t yet biting (forget about the German CPI data for now), fresh money keeps hitting the markets, and Archegos is about to become a distant memory. Stocks seem immune to the rising yields spell at the moment, meaning that value trades can remain at elevated levels while technology is stuck in no man‘s land and defensives are consolidating recent sharp gains (consolidating until the rising yields come back with vengeance).

And there is little reason given the Fed‘s stance why they shouldn‘t. Much of the marketplace is buying into the transitory inflation story, and inflation expectations aren‘t yet running too hot. As the economic growth is stronger than current or future inflation, we‘re still at a good stage in the inflation cycle – everyone benefits and no one pays.

When such reflation starts to give way to decreasing or stagnant growth rates accompanied by rising inflation metrics, the stock market performance stops being as positive as it had been since the Mar 2020 bottom. At such a time, the current transitioning to a higher inflation environment would be at a very different (commodity prices) stage, and so would the bond yields (no longer well below 2% on 10-year Treasuries).

Points made in my Monday‘s extensive analysis, ring true also today:

(…) With 10-year Treasury yields at 1.67%, last week‘s decline didn‘t reach far before turning higher. Remembering stock market woes the first breach of 1.50% caused, stocks have coped well with the subsequent run-up – while in the old days of retirees actually being able to live off interest rate income, a level of 4% would bring about trouble for S&P 500, now the level is probably just above 2%. Yes, that‘s how far our financialized economy has progressed – and I look for volatility to rise, and stocks to waver and likely enter a correction at such a bond market juncture. As always, I‘ll be keeping a close eye on the signs, emerging or not, as we approach that yield level.

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