Pain continued for bond markets today as 10yr yields broke above the upper range boundaries that had been intact since the beginning of the year. Admittedly, at roughly 2.32 to 2.44 (closing levels), the range in question isn’t huge, but a break is a break. It adds to the sense of negative momentum in the short term, all things being equal.
Bonds began the day only slightly weaker. Indeed, for much of the overnight session it looked like yields were trying to hold under the 2.44% range boundary. Economic data was part of the problem at 8:30am–especially the balmy 23.6 vs 15.8 forecast in the Philly Fed Index.
On a broader note, markets weren’t quite done fretting over the change in tone underway at the Fed. Yellen’s speech from yesterday was mentioned around more than a few campfires today as a reason to remain defensive. The 1pm auction of 10yr TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) added to that bias, as did uncertainty regarding Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing.
When the auction and the hearing passed, bonds recovered somewhat, but we were nonetheless left with the sense that our supportive range ceiling was broken. Tomorrow’s inauguration brings additional volatility potential. It could accelerate recent weakness or reinstate the range.