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August 13, 2023 | T-Bond Plunge Ahead?

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Is Mr. Market about to deliver the coup de grace to bond bulls? It certainly appears that way.  They’ve been getting schmeissed regularly since a frightening few days back in March 2020.  At the time, investors were struggling to decide how covid would affect their financial lives. The wild gyrations near the top, followed by the subsequent collapse of Treasurys as yield soared, attests to the fact that they all got it wrong — and so did everyone else who subsequently jumped in.

In technical terms, TLT, an ETF proxy for T-Bonds maturing in 20+ years, is on thin ice. It tested a key support two weeks ago when it came down to the red line, a ‘midpoint Hidden Pivot support’ that must hold if TLT is to avoid a further fall to the 80.84 target. Although the line has yet to be penetrated decisively, it looks to be giving way. A two-day close beneath it would likely send TLT down to at least 88.05, a last-ditch support. Beneath it lies an abyss that portends a rise in long-term rates to at least 5.5%  (as noted here earlier) from a current 4.27%. If there is a bright side to this scenario, it lies in the implication that an all-but-certain debt deflation much more destructive than any consumer inflation we are likely to experience is going to be yet a while longer in coming.

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August 13th, 2023

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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