The Baffling Bond Market

The bond market has been baffling recently. While U.S. stocks surged earlier this year, the 10-year Treasury yield quietly crept lower, puzzling market participants as the typical relationship between stocks and bonds (higher stock prices, higher yields) broke down at a rapid pace.

Then, the alligator jaws snapped shut. The S&P 500 Index has dropped about 6% since reaching a record high on April 30, and the decline of long-term government bond yields across the globe picked up speed [Figure 1]. Last week, the 10-year yield posted its biggest weekly drop in over four years to close at a 20-month low of 2.12%, and parts of the yield curve have flipped back into inverted territory (long-term rates falling below short-term rates).

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