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Weekly Market Update, March 8, 2021

General Market News

  • Rates continued to rise last week, with the 10-year Treasury yield opening at almost 1.41 percent and closing at 1.59 percent. On Monday morning, the 10-year opened just shy of 1.60 percent, and the 30-year opened at 2.32 percent, up from last week’s open of 2.16 percent. There was a slight increase in yields on the shorter end of the curve as well, with the 2-year yield opening at 0.15 percent. Last week, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell said he expects some transient inflation in the near term. There is a rumor that the Fed may relaunch Operation Twist, which was last launched in 2011 and involved the Fed selling short-term Treasuries and purchasing longer-dated ones to mitigate rising financing costs.

Market Update for the Month Ending February 28, 2021

Markets Rebound in February

After a weak January, equity markets rebounded in February, despite some late-month volatility driven by a spike in U.S. interest rates. The S&P 500 gained 2.76 percent in February, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 3.43 percent. The heavily technology-weighted Nasdaq Composite gained 1.01 percent.

Weekly Market Update, March 1, 2021

General Market News  

  • Rates continued to rise last week, with the 5-year Treasury yield increasing 19 basis points (bps). On Monday morning, the 10-year opened just shy of 1.40 percent, which was only 6 bps higher than last week’s open. The 10-year hit a high of 1.61 percent last Thursday, however, which demonstrates the recent volatility in Treasuries. The 30-year opened on Monday at 2.15 percent, up from last week’s open of 2.14 percent. There was a slight increase in yields on the shorter end of the curve as well, with the 2-year hitting a high of 0.19 percent last Thursday.

Interest Rates on the Rise, But Markets Hold Gains

As we head toward the end of February, the big picture is still positive—but the risks may be on the rise. Specifically, the improvement has slowed or reversed for new cases, positive testing rates, and hospitalizations. It’s too early to worry about a full reversal, but some risk factors appear to be coming into play.

Weekly Market Update, February 22, 2021

General Market News

  • Rates continued to rise last week, with the 5- and 10-year Treasuries shifting the most. This follows an increase in 10- and 20-year Treasuries the previous week. It’s unknown when or if the short end of the curve will follow with action from the Federal Reserve (Fed), which is committed to driving inflation before raising interest rates. The 10-year Treasury yield opened last week near 1.21 percent, closing just shy of 1.38 percent to end the week. It opened this morning at 1.36 percent, 15 basis points (bps) higher than last week’s open. The 30-year Treasury opened at 2.15 percent, a gain of 14 bps from last week’s open of 2.01 percent. Finally, on the shorter end of the curve, the 2-year Treasury opened last week at 0.11 percent and has remained flat through Monday’s open.

Is the Worst of the Economic Damage Behind Us?

The good news is that the big picture remains very positive. New cases, positive testing rates, and hospitalizations continue to trend down, while vaccination rates continue to scale up. Given these trends, it appears the worst of the pandemic is behind us.

The CARES Act Student Loan Relief Options: Who Benefits and How?

In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced an extension of this relief through September 30, 2021. The CARES Act encompasses a number of provisions that offer relief for student loan borrowers. If you have a student loan, here’s what you need to know.

Weekly Market Update, February 16, 2021

General Market News

  • Rates picked up across the yield curve last week, especially with 10- and 20-year Treasury maturities. The primary focus remains on a potential stimulus package and near-term uncertainty with respect to market inflation expectations and future Federal Reserve (Fed) policy. The 10-year Treasury yield opened last week just below 1.17 percent, closing the week at 1.20 percent; it opened at 1.23 percent this morning. The 30-year opened this morning just below 2.03 percent after opening last week at 1.99 percent. On the shorter end of the curve, we saw a slight increase in yields. The 2-year opened last week at 0.105 percent, ticking up to 0.113 percent this morning.

Markets Have High Hopes for 2021

For the third week in a row, the big picture has continued to improve. New cases, positive testing rates, and hospitalizations are trending down, while vaccinations are scaling up. If these trends continue, we are likely through the worst of the pandemic and should see continued improvement ahead.

Weekly Market Update, February 8, 2021

General Market News

  • With coronavirus cases continuing to fall globally, we saw significant steepening of the yield curve. The 10-year Treasury yield opened last week at 1.07 percent and closed just below 1.14 percent. This morning, the 10-year opened at 1.18 percent, up 11 basis points (bps) week-over-week. The 30-year opened just shy of 1.98 percent, up 14.5 bps from last week. On the shorter end of the curve, the 2-year opened last week at 0.11 percent and lost less than one-half of a basis point to open this morning.