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Report Date: April 2018
Markets Down But Not by as Much as Expected
All the major U.S. stock markets were down on the week, but not by as much as I thought. We got that big drop on Monday, where we got the very bad reaction to even better than expected earnings. Plus, with interest rates rising, I thought we would have had more selling, but we didn’t we actually rallied back most of the week from the big Monday decline, not enough to recover all of the losses, but the total losses on the week were not that bad. The Dow was down today, actually, by about 11 points. The NASDAQ eked out a small gain as did the S&P 500.
Yield on the 10-Year Highest Since Financial Crisis
Interest rates were moving up. In fact, the yield on the 10-year on Wednesday hit 3.035%. This is the highest it has been since before the Financial Crisis and I think one of the reasons that the stock market recovered a bit this week was because investors breathed a sigh of relief that the yield didn’t stay above 3%. We closed above 3% on that Monday, I think it was 3.024%, but then we dropped on Thursday and dropped again on Friday; we went out at 2.957%, and that’s only a slight increase from the 2.951% that yields closed at the prior week.
Existing Rates High Enough for Significant Damage
I think the markets are lulling in a false sense of security if they think that it’s just one and done. “We finally took out 3%, maybe we cleared out some stops, and that’s it. Yields have peaked, so there’s nothing to worry about.” As I said on my last podcast, even if this is the peak, I think it is already high enough to do significant damage to the economy, to the financial markets, to U.S. government finances. But – it’s not the peak.
Rising Bond Yields Are Not Bullish for the Dollar
Rates have barely begun to rise and I think they are going a lot higher. Higher rates did continue to support the dollar. The dollar actually had a strong week; the dollar index closed up just over 1% on the week. It was down slightly today, so we surrendered some gains earlier this morning, but it was still an up week for the dollar. Again, I think those people who are buying the dollar are going to lose a lot of money if they don’t turn around and sell. I think this is a sucker rally. As I said in my last podcast: Rising bond yields are not bullish for the dollar.
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