Well-documented has been this year’s roughly 14% decline for 10-year Treasury yields. That is the catalyst behind the upside for and substantial inflows to an array of fixed income exchange traded funds.
The iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: IEF) and the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (NYSEArca: BND) are two of the top-10 asset-gathering ETFs this year. Billions of dollars, much of it institutional money, has poured into scores of other bond ETFs, including the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEArca: TLT) and the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD). [Bond ETF Bounty]
There are plenty of opinions and theories about whether interest rates will rise or stay subdued, but one ETF could be providing clues that some prescient traders are bracing for higher rates in the near-term. That ETF is the Direxion Daily Total Bond Market Bear 1x Shares (NYSEArca: SAGG).
An easy way of describing SAGG is as the unleveraged, bearish answer to the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: AGG). SAGG attempts to deliver 100% of the daily inverse of the performance of the Barclay’s Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. Since SAGG does not use leverage, “compounding is less magnified compared to leveraged inverse ETFs,” according to Direxion.
SAGG does not grab the same amount of headlines as the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (NYSEArca: TBT), but SAGG’s recent action is arguably just as important as TBT. The reason being is that money has steadily flowed into TBT this year, which in theory could mean recent inflows to the product could be some dollar-cost averaging by traders looking to make a losing position look a little better. [Inverse Bond ETFs Prove Dangerous]
On the other hand, SAGG has been anonymous for much of this year. Until recently. On Tuesday, nearly 133,000 shares changed hands in SAGG compared to average daily turnover of 18,310 over the trailing three months.