Treasury yields went up across the curve throughout the third quarter of 2018. Once again the rate move was led by the front end of the yield curve, with Treasury bills and notes out to three years experiencing the largest increase in yield.
The longer-dated Treasuries were not far behind, with the 10-year Treasury holding above 3% and the 30-year Treasury above 3.2%. The table below shows the increase in Treasury yields over the third quarter of 2018.
At the September 26th FOMC meeting the Fed raised the fed funds target rate 25 basis points to a target range of 2.00–2.25%. This marks the eighth hike in the cycle and puts the fed funds rate at its highest level since October 2008. The statement accompanying the meeting remained mostly in line with forecasts from the previous meeting. The one major exclusion was the statement regarding monetary policy’s remaining “accommodative,” and its omission could lead people to believe that further hikes would potentially restrict growth moving forward. Other than the elimination of the “accommodative” statement, there were no changes to how the Fed described the current economic environment; and the median forecast for future rate hikes remained unchanged.
As for Cumberland’s Taxable Total Return portfolios, we continue to combat the current rising-interest-rate environment by focusing on an increased weighting in defensive assets on the front end of the barbell strategy while still maintaining a small weighting in longer securities as attractive yields become available. The defensive assets are still anchored by Treasury floating-rate securities and Agency multi-step securities, which have benefited portfolios since the start of the Fed’s hiking cycle at the end of 2015. While we continue to navigate a rising-interest-rate environment, the story remains the same. Our goal is to remain defensive in our approach to investing while making our investment decisions conservatively and extending durations to pick up additional yield as opportunities in the market present themselves.
Links to other websites or electronic media controlled or offered by Third-Parties (non-affiliates of Cumberland Advisors) are provided only as a reference and courtesy to our users. Cumberland Advisors has no control over such websites, does not recommend or endorse any opinions, ideas, products, information, or content of such sites, and makes no warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of their content. Cumberland Advisors hereby disclaims liability for any information, materials, products or services posted or offered at any of the Third-Party websites. The Third-Party may have a privacy and/or security policy different from that of Cumberland Advisors. Therefore, please refer to the specific privacy and security policies of the Third-Party when accessing their websites.
Sign up for our FREE Cumberland Market Commentaries
Cumberland Advisors Market Commentaries offer insights and analysis on upcoming, important economic issues that potentially impact global financial markets. Our team shares their thinking on global economic developments, market news and other factors that often influence investment opportunities and strategies.