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Nasdaq 100 headwinds could be structural with unfavourable yield curve moves

The Nasdaq 100 recovery from recent lows might have more hurdles ahead; the Federal Reserve have made it clear that higher rates are here to stay and a further inverted yield curve might be telling.

Source: Bloomberg

The Nasdaq 100 declined after US retail sales saw a classic ‘good news is bad news’ scenario unfold. While equity markets sold off, buying of Treasury bonds emerged after the data.

Treasury yields beyond 2-years fell with demand for bonds increasing, particularly further out on the curve. The benchmark 10-year note shaved 8 basis points (bps) yesterday, while the 1- and 2-year bonds added a couple of bps.

This has pushed the US 2s 10s yield curve spread to its most inverted ever at -0.67 bps.

In the past, an inverted yield curve has sometimes been a harbinger of a recession, although this is not always the case. It should be noted though that past performance is not indicative of future results.

The 1- and 2-year part of the curve are mostly driven by short term rates. These are largely impacted by the target rate of the Federal Reserve.

The Fed have made it clear that rates will need to remain elevated for some time to rein in inflation. Comments from Fed Board members Mary Daly, John Williams and Chris Waller re-iterated this perspective.

Futures and swaps markets have priced in a 50 bps lift in the target rate at the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. This would be step back from the 75 bps at their last meeting but is still a tightening of financial conditions.

A continuing development that was added to overnight is occurring at the back end of the curve. The 20- and 30-years bond yields have not gone as low as the 10-year bond.

This could imply that the 10-year is at the belly of the curve. Demand at this tenor might be telling us something about a possible rotation in asset allocation. Most government bond funds have a mandate that is based around the duration of the 10-year bond.

Demand at this part of the yield curve that is occurring at the same time that the selling of equities is taking place could be an indication of investor rotation.

The Fed is trying to tighten financial conditions and companies that rely on debt and fresh rounds of capital raising could find this environment challenging. A large percentage of technology companies might fall into this category.

The earnings season just passed has not been kind to technology stocks in general. Investors might be considering their exposure to technology stocks in the face of a hawkish Fed, even if the jumbo-sized hikes are not forthcoming.

Nasdaq, 10-year Treasury yield, 2s 10s yield curve

Source: TradingView

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This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Australia Pty Ltd. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

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