Yields on 1o-year treasury bonds hit levels not seen since mid-2004 on Wednesday, after the Fed hinted that further interest rate hikes were on the horizon. Greenspan and Co. even added language to their policy statement that highlighted recent increases in inflationary pressures in the economy.
With oil prices over $55 a barrel and the housing market remaining robust, it’s quite possible the Fed will continue to raise rates throughout the remainder of the year. The areas impacted the most will be the fixed income and housing markets. If inflation picks up, the TIPS market should shield investors from some of that risk. Gold may do well too, but I think other commodities should outperform gold due to increased demand worldwide and limited capacity.
The stock market likely won’t be able to make any meaningful move higher until the Fed is finished raising rates. On that end it would be better if they raised 50 bp at a time, as many have suspected they might if inflation fears don’t subside, just so we get to their target rate faster. The quicker they get to a point where they can stop raising rates, the quicker investors can start to make good money in the stock market again.