Putting The Recent Bond Market Selloff Into Historical Context – Hint It’s Rare!March 05, 2015
The recent move higher in longer dated US treasury bonds has been sharp and fast and has caught plenty of people off guard. The 10-year bond yield has moved from 1.68% to 2.12% while the 30-year has moved from 2.25% to 2.72% in a little over a month. On a percentage change basis this translates to +26% and +21%, respectively. That is a big move in a month!
To show just how big of a move this has been, we point the reader to the two charts below showing the 1-month percent change in yields and the three standard deviation trendlines about that 1-month percent change. For both the 10-year and the 30-year, the percentage change in yields has been a three standard deviation event. In other words, moves of this magnitude (in either direction) over a 1-month period have occurred less than .3% of the time going back to the bond market yield peak in 1982.
Finally, we note that six of seven instances of one of these three standard deviation selloffs since 2000 has resulted in some sort of intermediate peak in yields. In all cases yields except one, yields were materially lower within a few months.