Fixed-income ETFs are getting hammered across the board as interest rates rise and speculation heats up that the Federal Reserve will taper its purchases of Treasuries and mortgages.
However, one specialized bond ETF is rallying as long-term interest rates rise faster than short-term rates.
When the yield curve steepens, it means the spread between yields on short-term bonds and long-term bonds is increasing. When the curve flattens, then the gap is narrowing. STPP performs well when the yield curve is steepening.
Indded, bond ETFs with longer durations have been hit the hardest the past few months as Treasury yields rise.
The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TLT) has declined 12.2% over the past three months and is now hovering around multi-year lows.
The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries reached 2.88% Monday, its highest level since 2011. Meanwhile, the yields on 30-year Treasuries are back up to 3.9%.
“Ten-year yields have moved out of the range they’ve been in since mid-2011. You’ve broken that technical support level,” Michael Cloherty, head of U.S. interest-rate strategy at RBC Capital Markets, said in a MarketWatch article.
The sudden spike in Treasury yields is attributed to the growing tapering fears that the Fed could cut back on its accommodative stance as soon as September. [Sinking Treasury ETFs Point to September Fed Taper]