Treasury yields in a death cross, more downside ahead says one trader

Investing


Bond bulls take note: Treasury yields are moving lower, and according to one technical indicator, the slide may only just be getting started.

On Friday the 10-year yield entered the death cross, when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average. This technical indicator is typically viewed as a sign of further weakness.

Contrary to what the chart may be saying, Newton Advisors’ Mark Newton believes investors should sell Treasurys now because the economy continues to look strong.

“It’s very difficult to think that … yields should continue to fall in this case, ” he said Friday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “Yields have pulled back about 50 basis points in the last three to four months. It’s been a fairly dramatic move. Sentiment now has been cut in half. We had very negative sentiment on Treasurys last October. … We’re getting near oversold in yields.”

Bond yields move inversely to prices, which means that when the U.S. 10-year note is high in demand and prices are going up, the yield moves lower. A leg lower in yields on the all-important benchmark can suggest jitters in the overall market, since investors are fleeing to safe-haven assets.

A key level that Newton is watching is 2.5 percent, which he believes is a floor off of which yields will bounce.

“I think the percentage of people that believe the economy is dropping off a cliff is certainly pretty widespread right now. And if anything, I think that’s probably not as imminent. So I see a downside for yields right near 2.50, so very, very close to a bottom I think in yields. And we should start to turn back higher over the next three to five months. So I would be looking to sell into Treasurys, and think that this death cross actually could prove to be the opposite of what historically people say could happen.”

The U.S. 10-year note was yielding roughly 2.69 percent during Friday’s trading session, down from its 52-week high of 3.26 percent on Oct. 9. Early Monday, the yield was down further, at 2.67 percent.

On the flip side, Washington Crossing Advisors’ Chad Morganlander thinks a global growth slowdown could mean rates have further to fall.

“We think there’s a global declaration of growth and that that markdown is going to be much more than expectations,” he said on the show Friday. “There’s an inversion, modest albeit, in the belly of the curve. … So we think that of course there’s going to be a markdown on GDP far in excess of where traditional economists are.”

Morganlander believes global fears will prompt investors to buy safe-haven assets like US Treasurys to protect their portfolio. As the asset becomes more in demand, this will put additional downside pressure on yields.

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see a 2.25 handle on the 10-year over the course of the next six to nine months,” he said.

— CNBC’s Keris Lahiff contributed reporting.



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