BAC - Bank of America Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
33.53
+0.02 (+0.06%)
At close: 4:00PM EST

33.53 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 6:50PM EST

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close33.51
Open33.40
Bid33.54 x 900
Ask33.56 x 27000
Day's Range33.30 - 33.63
52 Week Range22.66 - 33.80
Volume40,036,973
Avg. Volume50,807,032
Market Cap302B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.64
PE Ratio (TTM)12.36
EPS (TTM)2.71
Earnings DateJan 15, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield0.72 (2.15%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-12-05
1y Target Est33.90
  • Why Wells Fargo’s Mike Mayo is ‘banking on tech’
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    Why Wells Fargo’s Mike Mayo is ‘banking on tech’

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  • Bank of America (BAC) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know
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    Bank of America (BAC) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

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    Investor's Business Daily

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  • PHOTOS: Execs at Charlotte's largest companies voice expectations for the year ahead
    American City Business Journals

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  • Bloomberg

    Repo Worrywarts Turn Their Attention to Next Monday and Dec. 31

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors are eagerly lining up backup financing just in case the U.S. repo market, which worried Wall Street when it went haywire in mid-September, sees turmoil at the end of the year.For the third straight Monday, the Federal Reserve conducted funding operations designed to give traders extra liquidity around Dec. 31, a time when repo liquidity has historically dried up. All three were oversubscribed, meaning market participants bid for more than the central bank was offering. The latest one got requests for $43 billion versus the $25 billion maximum.Year-end isn’t the only challenge for a business that, among other things, is used to finance the purchase of Treasuries. Pressure could also resurface around Dec. 16, when new U.S. debt is distributed to investors, while at the same time quarterly corporate tax payments push up the Treasury Department’s cash balance.That money is parked at the nation’s central bank, and increases to that amount are generally matched by decreases in the balances of other institutions with deposits at the Fed -- in other words, banks. So while the Fed is currently seeking to bolster bank reserves to calm funding markets, an increase in the Treasury’s cash balance could stir up trouble.“There will be pressure in the middle of the month, just like there will be pressure at the end of the year,” said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. interest rate strategy at Bank of America Corp. He expects usage of the Fed’s overnight repo operations to increase on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. While there will be “some signs of stress,” the presence of the Fed in the market means that there’s unlikely to be a repeat of September’s turmoil, he added.The payment of corporate taxes in mid-September was one of the factors highlighted by many observers as potentially contributing to the spike in repo rates around three months ago. In response to that upheaval, which saw the overnight rate for general collateral repo climbing to 10% from around 2%, the Fed started injecting liquidity into the repo market from Sept. 17. It has also been buying Treasury bills to add reserves to the system.The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s 28-day operation on Monday -- which matures on Jan. 6 -- was the last of three term operations currently scheduled to provide funding past year-end. Traders will be watching for any announcements from the central bank about plans for additional term-repo operations beyond the 13-day and 14-day actions scheduled for later this week. The next release of details is due to take place Thursday.The size of the Dec. 9 operation was increased last week to $25 billion from its initial amount of $15 billion after the central bank’s second year-end offering was oversubscribed. Market participants had submitted $42.55 billion in bids for the 42-day term action that took place a week ago, which was more than the $25 billion available. That term offering had also been upsized after the bids for the Fed’s first year-end operation on Nov. 25 exceeded the amount offered.BMO Capital Markets Strategist Jon Hill said that while he’s neither surprised by the takeup for the most recent term action nor worried at this stage, it would be “concerning” if term operations are still oversubscribed when Dec. 26 rolls around. “If it’s looking scary, the Fed could do more.”The recent tumult has spurred debate about the causes of friction in the repo market and potential solutions. The Bank for International Settlements on Sunday released a report suggesting that there is a structural problem in the market and that it wasn’t just a temporary hiccup. A group of smaller broker-dealers, meanwhile, has proposed several options to reduce how much the funding market relies on just a few players.\--With assistance from Benjamin Purvis and Debarati Roy.To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandra Harris in New York at aharris48@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at bpurvis@bloomberg.net, Nick BakerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bank of America Expands Free Trading to Legions of Merrill Edge Customers
    Bloomberg

    Bank of America Expands Free Trading to Legions of Merrill Edge Customers

    (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. is expanding commission-free trading -- again.The lender said it will give unlimited free stock trades to all customers on its Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform, seven weeks after handing that perk to members of its Preferred Rewards loyalty program. The move, announced in a statement Monday, follows Charles Schwab Corp.’s decision to eliminate charges and acquire TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. for about $26 billion. It all underscores fierce competition in the discount-brokerage business.“Everyone is aggressive right now, because the question is: How do you prove value, how do you attract clients?” Aron Levine, Bank of America’s head of consumer banking and investments, said in a phone interview. “We want to make sure that all clients who are interested in our platform have access to it in a comparable way to the rest of the industry.”As other firms face pressure to bulk up through mergers, Bank of America will focus on boosting activity among its existing clients, Levine said. The company has about 66 million consumer and small business clients.“We look at a client holistically,” Levine said. That means the lender can make money on customers’ broader financial activities, including banking, credit cards and mortgages, rather than focusing purely on brokerage revenue. Any lost revenue from the latest move will be marginal, given 87% of trades were already commission-free, he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in New York at lnguyen35@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, David Scheer, Daniel TaubFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Bank of America Expands Unlimited Zero-Dollar Trades to All Merrill Edge Self-Directed Clients

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  • BB&T-SunTrust Merge to Form 6th Biggest Bank Truist Financial
    Zacks

    BB&T-SunTrust Merge to Form 6th Biggest Bank Truist Financial

    Truist Financial, the sixth largest bank in the country, is likely to give significant competition of other big banks.

  • Benzinga

    Cramer Gives His Take On Bank Of America, BlackBerry And More

    On CNBC's "Mad Money Lightning Round," Jim Cramer said S&P Global Inc (NYSE: SPGI ) is a buy. He thinks the management team is terrific. Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC ) is going higher, said ...

  • 3 Low Price-Book Stocks for Value Investors to Consider
    GuruFocus.com

    3 Low Price-Book Stocks for Value Investors to Consider

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  • Masters of the Universe Are Taking Over Your Local Sports Teams
    Bloomberg

    Masters of the Universe Are Taking Over Your Local Sports Teams

    (Bloomberg) -- If Steve Cohen’s bid for the New York Mets succeeds, he’ll find himself in familiar company.Hedge fund managers and private equity titans are an increasingly common sight in the owners’ boxes of Major League Baseball teams, including former trader John Henry at Boston’s Fenway Park, Guggenheim Partners’ Mark Walter at Dodger Stadium and Crescent Capital’s Mark Attanasio at Miller Park in Milwaukee.And it’s not just America’s Pastime. Pro football franchises, basketball teams and soccer clubs also are attracting the financial elite. Last year, David Tepper bought the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. The principal owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors is former venture capitalist Joe Lacob, while Platinum Equity founder Tom Gores owns the Detroit Pistons.“One of the great sources of the kind of liquid capital you need to buy a sports team are people in the finance industry,” said Marc Ganis, president of consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd. “Tepper could simply write the check for the Carolina Panthers. Literally write the check. And Steve Cohen is the same.”The lure is no longer just the prospect of owning a trophy asset or hanging out with famous athletes, although that still resonates. These days there’s also a cold-eyed appraisal of teams as an increasingly astute financial bet, backed by a mix of real estate, media and technology.“Steve is a consummate businessperson who will bring insights to the way the sport is evolving to the team management,” Leo Hindery, founder and former chief executive officer of the Yankees’ broadcast network, said of the hedge fund titan in an interview this week.Cohen’s proposed bid underlines the astronomical cost of teams in major markets these days. Fred Wilpon, the Met’s principal owner, made his money in real estate. He assumed control of the franchise in 2002 at a valuation of just $391 million.Cohen — one of the most successful hedge fund managers in history with a net worth in excess of $9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — is negotiating to buy an 80% stake that values the team at a league-record $2.6 billion. That’s a 550% increase in less than two decades.Jerry Richardson paid about $200 million in 1993 for the rights to start the Panthers. Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, paid $2.3 billion for the franchise last year. The Milwaukee Bucks, worth $18 million in 1985, fetched $550 million when the NBA team was sold to Marc Lasry and Wes Edens in 2014.It’s a similar story with soccer. The enterprise value of the 32 most prominent European clubs increased to $41 billion at the start of 2019, up 35% from three years earlier, according to a KPMG report.Finance is the source of 106 fortunes on the Bloomberg index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. That’s about double the number of those who made their money from technology. Outside of the top 500 are scores more with the means to pay the price tags the biggest sports teams now command.When the Panthers came up for sale, three billionaires with financial backgrounds dominated the bidding war, with Tepper ultimately beating out Ben Navarro, founder of Sherman Financial Group LLC, and investor Alan Kestenbaum.“I don’t want to own a trophy asset,” Kestenbaum said during the bidding. “An investment of this size has to continue to grow in value.”That remains a distinct possibility, even at today’s elevated prices. Long-suffering sports fans — buffeted by ownership changes and rising ticket prices — tend to remain loyal to their teams, while the seemingly evergreen allure of live sports has kept the value of television rights packages buoyant.The appeal is such that it’s not just individuals investing. Last month, private equity firm Silver Lake Management bought a piece of City Football Group Ltd., owner of the Manchester City soccer team, valuing the parent at $5 billion. CVC Capital Partners bought a minority stake in England’s top rugby league last year having previously owned race series Formula One for a decade before selling it to John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. for $4.4 billion.Owning such illiquid assets requires a high tolerance for risk and a healthy balance sheet. But that’s second nature to many of the mega-wealthy financiers now filling board rooms. For hedge fund executives used to the volatility of capital markets, the limited supply of these teams is appealing. Even when an owner has sold under duress — such as former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling or the Panthers’ Richardson — the price they received set records.Plenty of financiers have doubled down on these types of investments. In addition to the Red Sox, Henry owns England’s Liverpool Football Club and half of Nascar’s Roush Fenway Racing team. Major League Soccer’s board of governors agreed Thursday to move forward on the final steps toward granting the latest expansion team to Charlotte, North Carolina. The bid was led by Tepper.His growing taste for sports teams is no surprise to those in the industry.“There’s a competitiveness in the finance sector at the highest levels, which translates very well into the sports industry,” said Ganis, the consultant. “It’s wins, it’s losses, it’s zero sum games. It’s kill or be killed. That has a lot of similarity to the sports industry where at the end of the season there are winners and losers.”\--With assistance from Tom Maloney, Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams.To contact the author of this story: Tom Metcalf in London at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Crabill at scrabill@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Bank of America Can Be a Star Again in 2020
    InvestorPlace

    Bank of America Can Be a Star Again in 2020

    Financial services stocks are dealing with the hurdles of three interest rate cuts this year. Although this is often a recipe for problems for the sector, with just a few weeks left in the year, bank stocks are actually looking pretty good … perhaps very good.Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com The widely followed KBW Bank Index is up 28.54% year-to-date thanks in part to a stellar 15.42% jump since the start of the fourth quarter. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) isn't just participating in the bank equity rally, it's one of the party's leaders. Shares of Bank of America are outpacing the aforementioned KBW Bank Index by nearly 600 basis points this year and that out-performance could carry over into 2020.Yes, it's possible that multiple interest rate cuts could be in the offing in 2020, particularly with it being an election year and if economic data weakens. However, Bank of America and several other large money center banks have been proactive in managing investors' expectations when it comes to net interest income, the corner of banks' balance sheets most affected by declining interest rates.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFor example, Bank of America reported third-quarter net interest income of $12.1 billion, only slightly below the Wall Street estimate of $12.2 billion. Net interest margins and related expectations are important to Bank of America stock and shares of rivals. Even the Federal Reserve admits as much. * 7 Hot Stocks for 2020's Big Trends "Banks' interest income for a given level of interest-bearing assets should generally rise as the FOMC raises its policy rate, and as longer-term rates rise, because banks can pass on rate increases to borrowers through floating-rate loans and new fixed-rate loan originations," said the Fed in a research report out earlier this year. "Similarly, banks' interest expenses should rise, or at least not fall, as banks may pass through higher interest rates to savers." A Value FeelAlthough Bank of America has generated impressive returns this year, acting the part of a high-flying growth stock, the shares are remarkably cheap at 11.14x 2020 earnings. That underscores the point this is a value stock, a potentially beneficial trait at a time when there is plenty of talk about a growth-to-value rotation.The stock's status as a value play is appealing, but that allure isn't risk-free because the value factor has flaws, some of which have been vexing academics and market observers for years."The reasons for this putative failure of value investing elude investors and academics, making it a challenge to assess the likelihood of the return of value investing to its days of glory," according to a study on value stocks conducted by the NYU Stern School of Business.Adding to the allure of Bank of America is that it offers investors some insulation from lower interest rates due to the diversity of its business model, which includes the Bank of America Merrill Lynch brokerage business."The bank also has one of the largest online retail brokerages in Merrill Edge and one of the largest advisor forces through Merrill Lynch Wealth Management," according to Morningstar. "The bank is a top five global investment bank, one of the largest U.S. issuers of credit and debit cards, one of the top four U.S.-based merchant acquirers, and a top five fee earner from FICC products globally." * 10 Stocks That Should Be Every Young Investor's First Choice The Bottom Line on Bank of AmericaAlthough Bank of America's operating efficiency has been poor relative to its peers, it is improving thanks to branch consolidation and other cost-saving moves. In order for efficiency to morph into a legitimate catalyst for Bank of America stock, it doesn't need to be better than say JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) or Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), it just needs to be in the ballpark of those rivals.Cost synergies, increased emphasis on more credit worthy customers and the moat associated with the company's brokerage and investment banking operations are catalysts to drive cash flow, helping Bank of America direct more cash to buybacks and dividends, the latter of which can easily grow because the stock yields just 2.18%.As of this writing, Todd Shriber did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Hot Stocks for 2020's Big Trends * 7 Lumbering Large-Cap Stocks to Avoid * 5 ETFs for Oodles of Monthly Dividends The post Bank of America Can Be a Star Again in 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Who Are Bank of America’s Main Competitors?
    Investopedia

    Who Are Bank of America’s Main Competitors?

    The main competitors of Bank of America (BAC) are three of the other "big four" major U.S. banks: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.

  • MarketWatch

    Financial stocks get a big boost from jobs data

    Financial stocks got a big lift in premarket trading Friday, as much stronger-than-expected November jobs data provided a boost to the sector and the broader stock market. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF rallied 1.1%, after trading unchanged just before the data. Among the sector tracker's heavily weighted components, gains in the shares of Bank of America Corp. increased to 2.0% from 0.4%, Citigroup Inc. to 1.7% from 0.3%, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to 1.3% from less than 0.1% and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to 1.3% from 0.3%. The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 266,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate returned to a 50-year low of 3.5% from 3.6%, compared with expectations of 180,000 jobs. Gains in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF to 0.7% from 0.2%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF to 0.7% from 0.1% and the Invesco QQQ ETF to 0.8% from 0.2%.

  • Hurry Up and Wait for the Breakout in Bank of America Stock
    InvestorPlace

    Hurry Up and Wait for the Breakout in Bank of America Stock

    Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) could finally break out. The BAC stock price of around $33 per share represents a post-financial crisis high. Still, for the last month, Bank of America stock has paused, trading in a narrow range.Source: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com The lack of meaningful movement leaves BAC's short-term future uncertain. However, the equity has become positioned for a breakout with a low valuation and a sizable, growing dividend, the short-term stagnation in Bank of America should soon give way to a brighter, long-term future. The Buffett EffectBack in September, I warned investors to stay on the sidelines with Bank of America stock while it traded in a range. The current economic environment had become a mixed bag for BAC stock. Although avoiding a recession helps the bank, lower interest rates cut into their profits. Moreover, every time it began to move significantly above $30 per share, it would pull back.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHowever, things have changed since then. The fears over the inverted yield curve in August have dissipated. The prospects for a trade agreement have improved. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Also, we can feel more confident than ever that Bank of America stock has a fan in Warren Buffett. At 947,760,000 shares, it has become Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) second-largest holding, lagging only Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Moreover, the value, now at over $31.5 billion, exceeds that of his one-time favorite bank stock, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), by over $11 billion.In October, he sought permission from the Federal Reserve to take his stake above 10%. This and a positive earnings report sent Bank of America stock surging from just above $27.50 per share to the BAC stock price of $33-plus per share where it trades today.I would treat any news about Warren Buffett with a grain of salt. Filing permission to buy more does not mean he will buy immediately. Moreover, when we finally hear that he has acquired more Bank of America stock, between three and six months will have passed since he made the purchase. Still, I would treat this news as a good sign for long-term positions in BAC. Consider BAC a Long-Term BuyFurthermore, the good news about closing above $33 per share is that the long-time price ceilings hampering Bank of America stock have broken. Now, one psychological barrier has gone away as it reaches highs not seen since the financial crisis.This leaves us with a BAC stock that trades at a forward price-earnings (PE) ratio of around 11.2. This year's expected earnings growth rate of 3.8% looks sluggish. However, with profit growth expected to reach 9.6% in fiscal 2020, one can see why Warren Buffett wants more BAC.Still, despite this optimism, it may take time to see any gains. Bank of America stock has stuck close to the $33 per share level for about a month now. Also, given the fact that it surged to that level on good news, bad news such as a delay in the trade agreement could send it falling again.However, even if that happens, I do not see a significant drop coming. Moreover, the most recent quarterly dividend announced came in at 18 cents per share. This represents an increase from 15 cents per share in the previous quarter. It also marks the fifth year of annual payout hikes for Bank of America stock.Furthermore, the 2.2% yield already exceeds S&P 500 averages, and I see nothing that would stand in the way of annual dividend increases for years to come. With the potential for gains in both growth and income, I think investors should keep their eyes peeled for buying opportunities. Concluding Thoughts on Bank of America stockBank of America stock appears headed for a bright, long-term future. The fact that Warren Buffett has taken an interest will help investors warm to the stock quickly. However, from a trading standpoint, it has managed to break a long-held price ceiling while still trading at a multiple that should attract both growth and income investors.Not all signs indicate it will move higher immediately. The narrow trading range over the last month points to short-term uncertainty. Moreover, investors cannot reliably predict the direction of trade talks or the economy.However, with BofA on a sustained path to growth, and with Bank of America stock offering a reasonable valuation and a significant, growing payout, investors should continue to bid BAC stock higher over the long haul.As of this writing, Will Healy is long BRK.B stock. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy That Dominated Thanksgiving Shopping * 6 Manufacturing Stocks to Buy as the Economy Recovers * The 7 Best Cryptocurrencies to Buy as Blockchain Heats Up The post Hurry Up and Wait for the Breakout in Bank of America Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Financial Times

    Robust US jobs data show labour market’s resilience

    The US economy added 266,000 jobs in November, surpassing analyst estimates by a wide margin and demonstrating the continued strength of the US labour market. Hourly earnings increased 3.1 per cent over the past year, also beating estimates of a 3 per cent gain. “The fact that the labour market hasn’t slowed, I mean, really, that’s amazing — given all the worry we’ve had, all the recession talk,” said Ethan Harris, head of global economics research for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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    Zacks

    Major Regional Bank Stocks Outlook Rosy on Decent Loan Rise

    Major Regional Bank Stocks Outlook Rosy on Decent Loan Rise

  • Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020
    Bloomberg

    Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- About a year ago to the day, the U.S. yield curve inverted for the first time during this business cycle. Sure, it wasn’t the part that has historically predicted future recessions, but it foreshadowed the more consequential inversion —  the part of the curve from three months to 10 years — which happened in March and lasted for much of the rest of the year through mid-October.This wasn’t much of a shock to Wall Street. Even in December 2017, many strategists saw an inverted yield curve as largely inevitable, with short- and longer-dated maturities meeting somewhere between 2% and 2.5%. That’s just what happened. It was enough to spur the Federal Reserve into action. The central bank proceeded to slash its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points in just three months. Now the curve looks positively normal again.“Inverted Yield Curve’s Recession Flag Already Looks So Last Year,” a recent Bloomberg News article declared. Indeed, the prospect of the curve steepening in 2020 is drawing money from BlackRock Inc. and Aviva Investors, among others, Liz Capo McCormick and John Ainger reported. Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told them the spread between two- and 10-year yields will be wider in most sovereign debt markets. PGIM Fixed Income’s chief economist Nathan Sheets said “the global economy has skirted the recession threat.”Yet beneath that bravado, the fear of another bout of yield-curve inversion remains alive and well on Wall Street.John Briggs at NatWest Markets, for instance, predicts the curve from three months to 10 years (or two to 10 years) will invert again, possibly for a couple of months, because the Fed will resist cutting rates again after its 2019 “mid-cycle adjustment.” “I see the economy slowing to below trend growth, the market seeing it and recognizing the Fed needs to do more, especially with inflation low, but the Fed will be slow to respond,” he said in an email. Then there’s Societe Generale, which is calling for the U.S. economy to fall into a recession and for 10-year Treasury yields to end 2020 at 1.2%, which would be a record low. Even though the curve doesn’t invert in the bank’s quarter-end forecasts, it’s quite possible during a bond rally, according to Subadra Rajappa, SocGen’s head of U.S. rates strategy.“Over time, if the data weakens, the curve will likely bull flatten and possibly invert akin to what we saw in August,” she said. “If the data continue to deteriorate and the economy goes into a recession as per our expectations, then we expect the Fed to act swiftly to provide accommodation.”To be clear, another yield-curve inversion is by no means the consensus. The prevailing expectation is that the economy is in “a good place” (to borrow Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s line) and that Treasury yields will probably drift higher, particularly if the U.S. and China reach any kind of trade agreement. In that scenario, central bankers will be just fine leaving monetary policy where it is.Bank of America Corp.’s Mark Cabana summed up the bond market’s base case at the bank’s year-ahead conference in Manhattan: There will probably be no breakout higher in U.S. economic growth (capping long-term yields) but also no need for the Fed to cut aggressively (propping up short-term yields). That should leave the curve range-bound in 2020.That range, though, is not all that far from zero. Ten-year Treasury yields are now 20 basis points higher than those on two-year notes, and 22 basis points more than three-month bills. At the end of 2018, those spreads were nearly the same — 19 basis points and 31 basis points, respectively. That is to say, it’s not much of a stretch to envision the curve flattening in a hurry if anxious bond traders clash with a patient Fed.For now, traders seem to be pinning their hopes on resilient American consumers powering the global economy, using evidence of strong holiday shopping numbers to back their thesis. My colleague Karl Smith isn’t so sure that’s the best strategy, given that the spending is actually weakening relative to 2018, plus it usually serves as a lagging indicator anyway. Markets are also on alert for any cracks in the U.S. labor market, which has been the bastion of this record-long recovery. November’s jobs numbers will be released Friday.As for the Fed, its interest-rate moves are a clunky way to fine-tune the world’s largest economy. But that’s not the case for addressing angst around the U.S. yield curve. If the central bank doesn’t like its shape, it has the policy tools to directly and immediately bend it back.It comes down to which scenario Fed officials consider a bigger risk in 2020: Allowing the Treasury curve to remain flat or inverted, or moving too quickly toward the lower bound of interest rates? Judging by dissents around the more recent decisions, this is very much an open question.To get another inversion, “you’d need a Fed that wants to hold policy constant through a period of economic weakness: front end remains anchored near current levels due to policy expectations, long end drops due to diminishing growth/inflation forecasts,” said Jon Hill at BMO Capital Markets. “Not impossible by any means.” An inversion would probably come in the first or second quarter of 2020, fellow BMO interest-rate strategist Ian Lyngen said, though that’s not his base case.That sounds about right. Fed officials seem satisfied with dropping rates by the same amount as their predecessors did during other mid-cycle adjustments. Now they want to wait and see how lower interest rates trickle into the economy, perhaps making them more entrenched over the next several months. It’s hard to say for sure, though, given that Treasury yields have behaved since the central bank’s last meeting. The market simply hasn’t tested the Fed’s resolve.Relative calm like that rarely lasts, particularly when one tweet on trade sends investors into a tizzy. The path forward is almost never as linear as year-ahead forecasts make it appear.The same is true for the yield curve. We might very well be past “peak inversion,” but ruling out another push below zero could be a premature wager.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.