|Bid||0.00 x 2200|
|Ask||0.00 x 1100|
|Day's Range||78.10 - 78.15|
|52 Week Range||77.83 - 80.25|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.07%|
The US bond market continued to rebound as trade tensions and the limited appreciation in equity markets pushed demand for bonds higher, depressing the bond yields for a second consecutive week. Bond investors seem to be questioning the US Fed’s enthusiasm for higher rates as bond yields continued to retreat. There weren’t any major market-moving economic data releases last week, which could have led to the fall in bond yields.
The US bond market had a limited reaction to the Fed’s 25-basis-point rate hike and the 0.20% increase in interest paid on excess reserves. The spread between the US two-year and ten-year bonds narrowed to 36 basis points, which led to a further flattening of the yield curve in the previous week. The Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND), which tracks the performance of the bond markets, rose 0.06% for the week ended June 15 and closed at 78.92.
The US bond market seems to be benefiting from multiple crises around the world. First, there was the crisis in emerging markets, which could further escalate if the US dollar continues to appreciate, and then there are uncertainties about Italian debt, the G7 meeting, and the upcoming central bank meetings this week. The Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND) ETF, which tracks the performance of the bond markets, was down by 0.28% for the week ending June 8 and closed at 78.9.
The US bond market was volatile in May. The ten-year yield reached a peak of 3.1% and fell to a low of 2.8% in a span of three weeks. The wild swings in the bond markets were a result of multiple factors including the dovish FOMC statement, weaker-than-expected inflation report, and a rebound in trade and geopolitical tensions. Last week, bond markets’ limited reaction to the stellar jobs report was a surprise. Although a strong jobs report increases the odds of a rate hike, the developments surrounding trade wars and domestic political uncertainties kept bond yields under pressure.
The US bond market had some relief from its ongoing slide as the Fed’s May meeting minutes were less hawkish than expected. The Fed also wants to adjust the rate paid on excess reserves by 20 basis points on June 13, keeping the federal funds spread at 0.25%. Last week (ended May 25), the ten-year (IEF) yield closed at 2.9%, depreciating by 13 basis points.
US ten-year bond market yields have scaled a new seven-year peak at 3.07, their highest level since July 2011. This 100-basis-point move, which happened over the span of a little over eight months, has taken its toll on bond prices. Thanks to rising crude prices, increased chances of higher inflation have been fueling the recent rally in rates.
US bond market yields continue to trend higher, but their overall movement last week was limited. Despite this limited movement, a few takeaways from the week hint at how interesting the bond markets could get in the future. The market’s reaction can be interpreted as investors seeing that the Federal Reserve will stick to its tightening stance in the future and that a change in inflation expectations will drive bond yields.
US bond market yields cooled off after hitting a four-year high at the end of April. Bond yields fell after the April employment report was lower than expected. The unemployment rate dropped below 4% for the first time in 20 years, which was the highlight of the report.
The US bond markets were under pressure as the yield curve continued flattening until Wednesday last week. The yield spread between the two-year and ten-year reached a decade low of 41 basis points on Wednesday, but a rebound in commodity prices triggered higher inflation expectations and led to the sharp rally of US bond yields last week. The Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND) ETF, which tracks the performance of the bond markets, ended the previous week at 79.02, a fall of 0.77% for the week ending April 20.
US bond markets’ relief after a dovish FOMC statement was short lived as geopolitical tensions took center stage. US bond yields rose along the curve dominated by a sharp increase in yields at the short-end of the curve, which reignited fears of the yield curve flattening. The 2s10s spread has now reduced to 45 basis points and the 2s30s spread has been reduced to a fresh cycle low of 66 basis points.
The last FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting was on March 20–21, 2018. At the meeting, the target range for the federal funds rate increased 0.25% to 1.50%–1.75%. The decision to increase the rate was made after Fed members assessed current economic conditions and the outlook for economic activity. The decision to increase the interest rates was unanimous.
Do We Have the Tools to Combat a Recession? In his keynote delivered at the tenth conference organized by the International Research Forum on Monetary Policy in March, Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren highlighted US policy tools’ deficiency in combating another recession. Speaking about the monetary policy tools, he said that the current level of US short-term interest rates (SHY) leaves little room for them to be lowered during an economic slowdown.
The US bond markets moved marginally higher in the previous week as investors’ worry about rising bond yields fell after the February inflation print showed stable growth. The Vanguard Total Bond Market (BND) ETF, which tracks the performance of the bond markets, ended the previous week at 79.5, appreciating by 0.26% for the week ending March 16.
The US bond markets were the only asset class that failed to rally after the February jobs report was released on March 9, 2018. The bond market, however, suffered further losses as every other segment of the jobs report pointed to a strong employment market, leaving the bias tilted toward further rate hikes. Rising rates are negative for the bond market, and investors holding these bonds tend to lose their asset value.
Are bond bulls emerging from their hideouts? The US bond markets managed to gain some lost ground as bond bulls reemerged. The key focal point of bond traders was the FOMC meeting minutes, where the FOMC members were concerned about inflation, but they weren’t sure about inflation drastically increasing.
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