111.44 +0.04 (0.04%)
After hours: 4:19PM EDT
|Bid||0.00 x 3100|
|Ask||0.00 x 1300|
|Day's Range||111.25 - 111.44|
|52 Week Range||111.04 - 115.26|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.20%|
The US bond markets remained under selling pressure as bond yields, especially at the short end of the curve, continued to shoot up, while the long-term yields remained subdued. The US Fed through its May post-meeting statement said that inflation would reach the 2% target soon, which was interpreted as a signal for a faster pace of rate hikes. An inverted yield curve, where short-term (SHY) yields are higher than long-term yields (TLT) is considered a warning sign for future recessions, and thus the yield spread has a place in the leading economic index.
While there are some factors that could support gold, such as rising oil prices (USO), the opposing factors seem much stronger. The rise in oil prices is seen as positive for gold since it drives inflation and increases gold’s appeal as an inflation hedge.
As per the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch (or BofAML) Global Fund Manager survey released on May 15, growth expectations have slipped to the lowest level in the last two years. The report indicated that global fund managers expect a slowdown in global growth with only 1% of the respondents thinking that the global economy would strengthen in the next 12 months. Only 2% of respondents were expecting a recession in 2018, while most of the respondents expect the next recession by the first quarter of 2020.
The US dollar depreciated against its major trading-partner currencies after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on May 10 that US consumer prices grew 0.1% in April after falling 0.1% in March. The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2%, marking a 2.1% year-over-year increase. The US dollar (UUP) fell after this report, as a slower rate of inflation (TIP) growth could mean a slower pace of rate hikes. In a developed economy, higher interest rates boost the currency. On May 10, the US dollar (USDU) index closed at 92.5. It appreciated by 0. ...
US bond market investors were relieved after the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April report, published May 10, indicated a lower-than-expected inflation growth rate. The latest inflation (VTIP) report indicated that core inflation increased at a slower pace of 0.1% in April, boosting hopes for a slower pace of rate hikes from the Fed. At its May meeting, the Fed stated that it would continue tightening and inflation (TDTT) would reach 2% in future months. The decline in bond yields after the disappointing jobs and inflation reports could be temporary, as inflation expectations may be fueled by higher crude prices.
US indexes (SPY) are reaching highs as investors ignore possible threats of the US pull-out from the Iran nuclear deal and focus on increasing crude prices. Markets have been driven higher by surging energy company stocks (XLE), which are expected to reap the benefits of higher crude oil prices. On May 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation (TIP) report gave investors another reason to pile on risk, with April inflation growth coming in below expectations, at 0.1%.
On May 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US consumer prices rose 0.2% in April. In contrast, they fell 0.1% in March. The April growth kept the uptrend in inflation (TIP) growth intact. Over the last 12 months, US inflation has grown 2.5%, a steep increase from the 1.6% growth recorded in June 2017. Core inflation (VTIP), which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose just 0.1%, the slowest growth since November 2017. Over the last 12 months, core inflation has grown 2.1%, above the 2% target rate set by the Fed.
The initial reaction of the bond (BND) market to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal was a decline in bond yields across the board. The yields, however, failed to stay at these lower levels and quickly bounced back after President Trump’s speech.
The personal consumption expenditure (or PCE) price index climbed 2.0% year-over-year (or YoY) in March 2018, which was the biggest gain since February 2017. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the core PCE index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, rose by 1.9% YoY. Economists are now expecting PCE to hit 2.0% in May because of favorable base effects.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis defines PCE (personal consumption expenditure) as the value of goods and services purchased by, or on behalf of, US residents. The Fed prefers this inflation (CPI) measure to assess price levels, as it reflects actual price increases for consumers.
Could Personal Income Continue to Rise? The BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis), which is a part of the US Department of Commerce, releases a monthly report on US consumers’ personal income, disposable personal income, and personal consumption expenditure. The BEA’s April 30 report indicated that the US workforce’s personal income rose 0.3% in March, the same increase seen in February.
The ADP March employment report was published on May 2. The report offered deeper insight into employment trends across different sectors in the US employment market. ADP and Moody’s Analytics prepared the monthly report.
The rise was the result of increased inflation (TIP) expectations nurtured by recent strong US economic data and a hawkish FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) bent on increasing short-term interest rates. The 3% yield on the 10-year bond is mostly a symbolic level for traders, as it’s been acting as a strong resistance in the last few years. Interest rates have been increasing steadily in the last two and half years, but the impact on the housing market (ITB) has been limited, as rates have been increasing very slowly.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (or BEA) released its first estimate for 1Q18 real GDP on Friday. This reading was above the consensus estimate for a growth rate of 2% but below the 4Q17 real GDP growth rate of 2.9%. This positive surprise may have somewhat cemented the chances for three more rate hikes in 2018, and the Fed has no reason to back off from additional rate hikes this year.
Are Tax Cuts and Deregulation Boosting Industrial Production? The Federal Reserve publishes capacity utilization data along with industrial production data for US industries every month. Capacity utilization change is one of the few economic indicators that acts as a leading indicator for the economy and helps in predicting changes to the US business cycle.
What Do March Leading Indicators Signal for the US Economy? The US bond markets were back in focus as the chatter about the yield curve flattening has grown louder in recent weeks. The decision of the US FOMC during its March meeting to increase the Fed funds rate by 0.25% had an uneven impact on the yield curve.
Based on comments from key members of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) and the mismatch between the economic performance and signals of a flattening yield curve, it’s tempting to stop depending on the slope of the yield curve (BND) (AGG) as a tool to determine recession risk. It’s important to understand that no financial indicator is foolproof, and the same can be said about the flattening yield curve in the current economic climate. As Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, the indicator might not have relevance in a low-inflation (TIP) environment.
In a presentation given by James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, he said the yield curve could invert by the end of 2018. Although the presentation was four months ago, it still holds true since the yield curve has flattened more than what it was in December 2017. In his presentation, Bullard laid out a few conditions that could lead to the yield curve inversion.
The primary reason cited by the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) for holding off on interest rate hikes since 2016 was lagging inflation growth. Whenever the Fed signaled rate hikes, the yield curve flattened since investors were not convinced that inflation (TIP) growth would pick up the pace, which would limit the Fed’s ability to raise rates. The Fed has set a target of 2% inflation (VTIP) growth, at which point the economy is expected to be running at a normal pace.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single reason for changes to the yield curve’s slope. First, any changes to the Fed’s interest rate immediately impact the yield curve at the short end, and the projections for long-term rates dictate the changes at the long end of the curve. For instance, the recent rate hike at the Fed’s March meeting had varying impacts on the US Treasury yield curve.
The International Monetary Fund (or IMF) also warned on April 18, 2018, that the unexpected rise in US inflation could cause significant global tensions, which could force central banks to respond firmly. It added that a hike in inflation in the US could lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than expected. The director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department, Tobias Adrian, said, “What we are flagging is that at some point markets see shocks in inflation that raise inflation uncertainty and when that happens, that is associated with a rise in long-term interest rates and that might lead to a tightening in financial conditions.” While he said that the uncertainty regarding US inflation is very low, markets could have an outsized reaction to any spike.
The Fed is sure to hike more than once this year, but the key question is how many times. One market watcher says investors could look in an unusual place for a clue on when the central bike is ready to strike.
The Fed is sure to hike more than once this year, but the key question is how many times. One market watcher says investors could look in an unusual place for a clue on when the central bike is ready to ...
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a monthly report that tracks price trends in wholesale markets. Industries from the manufacturing sector (XLI) are surveyed for changes in input prices, and this survey data is used to construct the PPI (Producer Price Index). The survey comprises questions on raw material prices, production levels, and finished goods.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS) released the “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey” (or JOLTS) data for February on April 13. The data for this survey is collected by a monthly survey on job openings, the number of new employees hired, the number of employees who have quit, the number of employees asked to leave, and other job separations. The JOLTS report is an indication of the demand for workers in the United States.