It may be the one most important thing to watch in the market right now: U.S. Treasury bonds.
Yields on the benchmark U.S. Treasury note are up a little bit this week after the second-quarter GDP number came in better-than-expected. However, a tepid jobs report put a slight damper on rates.
So, where are they headed next?
“We think Treasury yields will go up by the end of the year closer to 3 percent,” said Ira Jersey, director of U.S. interest rate strategy at Credit Suisse. “Growth really is going to start accelerating. Some of the weakness you saw in some of the numbers [Friday] we think is going to be very transitory. We’ll end up seeing better job numbers and better growth and inflation numbers as the year progresses.”
According to Jersey, there’s a good reason why rates didn’t make that big of a move and have stayed within a range of roughly 2.46 and 2.59 percent.
“A lot of people were positioned for this big selloff,” Jersey said. “So you didn’t have a lot of people that really wanted to buy [Thursday] and for a variety of reasons…. They bought [Friday] particularly after you saw this little bit of a disappointment in the wage numbers in the unemployment data.”
Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, agrees with Jersey that rates are headed higher by year’s end based on the charts of the U.S. 10-year Treasury note.
“I do think that yields move higher over the rest of the year,” said Ross, a “Talking Numbers” contributor.
He notes that the U.S. 10-year has traded in a relatively tight range between 2.4 and 3.0 percent over the last 12 months. Earlier in the year, it broke below its 200-day moving average and has stayed there ever since. He sees that level – roughly 2.68 percent – as key resistance for the 10-year.
“A break back above that level around 2.68 is going to provide a catalyst for a retest of the high end of that range,” Ross said.
But a longer-term chart is more compelling for Ross. “We all know about the pervasive multi-year downtrend in interest rates,” he said. “In late 2013, we [broke] back above that 200-week moving average for the first time in years. That 200-week goes from resistance to support and it has held there. I think as long as we hold that 200-week moving average, which comes in around 2.38 - 2.40 [percent], I think the better case is for higher yields.”
To see the full discussion on what’s next for interest rates, with Jersey on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video from CNBC’s “Street Signs.”