A Snapshot Of Bond Valuations

 
View from the Observation Deck  
  1. Today's blog post is one we do ongoing so that investors can monitor fluctuations in bond prices relative to changes in interest rates. The dates in the chart mark some recent posts.  
  2. Since 4/7/20 (green bars in chart), the Federal Reserve ("Fed") has kept the federal funds target rate (upper bound) at 25 basis points (bps). 
  3. For the 30-year period ended 1/8/21, the federal funds target rate (upper bound) averaged 2.69%, according to Bloomberg.
  4. With respect to the Fed's guidance on monetary policy, it stated that it expects to hold short-term interest rates near zero until two things happen: (1) the U.S. unemployment rate is back to normal, or around the 4.0% level, and (2) having achieved an inflation rate at or above 2.0%, according to Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P. The Fed believes it could keep the federal funds target rate near zero through 2023.  
  5. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note (T-note) rose from 0.71% at the close on 4/7/20 to 1.12% at the close on 1/8/21, or an increase of 41 basis points, according to Bloomberg. Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., believes that the yield on the 10-year T-note will close 2021 at around 1.40%. 
  6. For comparative purposes, here are the closing yields as of 1/8/21 for the indices featured in the chart: 3.76% (U.S. Leveraged Loan 100); 4.96% (U.S. High Yield Constrained); 3.50% (22+ Yr. Municipal Securities); 4.25% (Fixed Rate Preferred Securities); 0.96% (7-10 Yr. U.S. Treasury); 1.13% (Freddie Mac Mortgage); 1.96% (U.S. Corporate ); and 1.50% (Global Corporate), according to Bloomberg. 
This chart is for illustrative purposes only and not indicative of any actual investment. The illustration excludes the effects of taxes and brokerage commissions or other expenses incurred when investing. Investors cannot invest directly in an index. The ICE BofA 22+ Year U.S. Municipal Securities Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated investment grade tax-exempt debt publicly issued by U.S. states and territories, and their political subdivisions with a remaining term to maturity greater than or equal to 22 years. The ICE BofA Fixed Rate Preferred Securities Index tracks the performance of investment grade fixed rate U.S. dollar denominated preferred securities issued in the U.S. domestic market. The S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 Index is a market value-weighted index designed to measure the performance of the largest segment of the U.S. syndicated leveraged loan market. The ICE BofA 7-10 Year U.S. Treasury Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated sovereign debt publicly issued by the U.S. government with a remaining term to maturity between 7 to 10 years. The ICE BofA U.S. High Yield Constrained Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated below investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. The ICE BofA U.S. Corporate Index tracks the performance of U.S. dollar denominated investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market. The ICE BofA Global Corporate Index tracks the performance of investment grade corporate debt publicly issued in the major domestic and Eurobond markets. The ICE BofA Freddie Mac Mortgage Backed Securities Index is a subset of the ICE BofA U.S. Mortgage Backed Securities Index including all generics representing pools issued by Freddie Mac.

Download a PDF of this post, please click here.
Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 @ 1:11 PM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.