Bonds Performed Poorly Leading Up To Release of Fed Minutes
In our last post about a week ago we noted the slow pace of economic growth that has unfolded since the financial crisis. This slow pace of growth has resulted in the unprecedented easing programs (quantitative easing-QE) instituted by the Federal Reserve over the past few years. A consequence of these QE programs is the apparent inability of the Fed to embark on a monetary tightening path since the markets seem addicted to these programs. In our view, given the low level of rates today, an initial tightening by the Fed will not have a long lasting negative impact on the overall economy or equity market. With this said, market participants were looking for insight into the Fed’s future monetary direction with the release of the Fed’s most recent meeting minutes. As was true to form, the Fed seems intent on maintaining its near zero interest policy with a June rate hike most likely pushed back to later in 2015 or maybe 2016. This delay in raising rates may give the market a reason to push bond prices higher (interest rates lower) near term.