Interest rates at the long end of the yield curve have risen sharply and we anticipate they will head modestly higher over the next few quarters. The curve (2yr/10yr spread) has steepened from 82 basis points at the start of the year to 145 basis points. While the Fed will focus more on unemployment than inflation, and has pledged to keep short-term rates low, it has less influence over the long end of the yield curve. Bond investors at the long end of the yield curve are concerned inflation may spiral out of control, especially if Congress rolls out another massive spending plan. The rising long-term interest rates and steepening yield curve hold several implications for investors. One, higher rates raise valuations on equities, and this has caused the stock sell-off over the past few days. But the steeper yield curve also signals the U.S. economy may be rebounding sharply in a few months. And the wider spread between short-term and long-term bonds is beneficial for most of the Financial Services sector.
LOW, USB, MS, IART, PEP, PRGO