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The State of States

A change of seasons should be noted by municipal investors, as a seasonal increase in new issuance may be a catalyst to lower returns after a strong 2014. It is not uncommon for revenues to slow as the economy matures, and we do not view the slowdown in state tax revenues as worrisome for municipal bond investors.

Fed Nerves

Despite recent weakness, bonds continue to discount the pace and magnitude of Fed rate hikes. A few facets of this week’s Fed meeting may reveal whether the recent pullback in bonds continues to stabilize.​

Growth Signals

The combination of additional cuts to overnight borrowing rates and the announcement of the ABS purchase program was slightly more than expected from the ECB. Bond markets sent growth signals in response to ECB action in the form of higher yields, higher inflation expectations, and a steeper yield curve.​

Is It Extreme?

Although the decline in US Treasury yields has been significant in 2014, it is not quite at an extreme when viewed historically. However, the decline in European government bond yields has reached an extreme. Given the influence of European government bond yields on U.S. yields, this week’s ECB meeting may determine the market’s next move.

Bond Yields Around a First Rate Hike

Historically, bond yields have begun to move more forcefully four to six months ahead of a first rate hike from the Fed. We believe the rise in interest rates may begin sooner this cycle due to lower yields and more expensive valuations. We favor capitalizing on year-to-date bond strength and recommend a defensive posture consisting of short to intermediate bonds.

 
Results: 17 Articles found.
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