Talking Numbers

The most confounding trade on Wall Street just got murkier

Talking Numbers

The most confounding trade on Wall Street just got murkier

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The most confounding trade on Wall Street just got murkier

The most confounding trade on Wall Street just got murkier
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It’s the trade that continues to perplex experts, and if one market watcher is correct, it’s about to get even more confusing.

Yields on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note are now hovering around 2.4 percent. And according to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, they’re probably going a lot lower.  

“The bond markets are highlighting a concern that it has around the growth numbers that we’re seeing and whether or not this recovery is in fact as robust as some of the hawks would suggest,” said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor.

Though St. Louis Fed President James Bullard predicted on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last Friday that the Fed will raise rates by the end of the first quarter of 2015, Sanchez doesn’t think that’s a given.  “Bullard has come out saying that we could see a rate hike as soon as Q1 2015 if we see 3 percent growth in the second half of 2014,” she said. “Now that’s a big ‘if.’”

(Watch: Higher rates not bad for economy: Fed's Bullard)

Sanchez cites the tightening spread between two-year and 10-year bonds as proof the bond market doesn’t think a rate hike is coming. In January, the spread between the two yields was more than 2.5 percent. Today, it is under 1.9 percent as longer-term rates have fallen.

Also helping the case for lower U.S. yields is dropping global rates. The benchmark German 10-year bond now yields 0.94 percent, and Japanese 10-year government bonds yield close to 0.5 percent.

“That’s going to continue to put a bid on the Treasury yields,” Sanchez said. “All of that says that yields continue to grind tighter.”

But Sanchez doesn’t think buying bonds as yields go lower (bond yields move in the opposite direction of prices) is a wise investing idea. “This is picking up pennies in front of a steamroller,” she said. “This probably isn’t a time to buy yields but it’s not the time to sell them yet either.”

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Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners, also thinks yields are headed down and he is keeping his eye on some surprisingly low levels for the U.S. 10-year note.

(Watch: Global turmoil may keep Fed on sidelines: Analyst)

“I actually think that we’re going to pull back even further down to 2.2 [percent] at a minimum with a potential for 2.05,” Newton said. He arrived at the 2.2 percent number by retracing 50 percent of the yield’s rally from its 2012 lows. The 2.05 number is close to a 68 percent retracement of that same gain.

“That’s really a key level to look out on the downside,” said Newton, adding that September is considered one of the more bearish months for stocks. “If we get any sort of pull back, there should be a flight to quality and a move into Treasurys. That should keep a lid on rates in the near term.”

With all the indecision in the market, Newton doesn’t think there’s evidence of yields moving higher. “I’m still thinking we can pull back more,” he said.

To see the full discussion on interest rates, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Newton on technicals, watch the above video.

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