Performance pressure is fueling a tape that has been churning out one bullish headline after another, keeping lagging fund managers busy buying assets to get as fully invested as possible. This kind of euphoric last-minute buying binge can unwind just as fast after the first week of January, when technicians are sure to raise some extremely-overbought red flags. But if the data support the move, then a sideways consolidation can be expected.
We have to keep a close eye on the 10-Year Treasury, in that a break above the 3.00% psychological level might trigger a stock-market pullback. A breach of that level could spark a move to 3.50% from another large round of bond fund liquidations out of pure fear of principal loss, as well as technical momentum that fuels large bond traders.
Balance is the name of the game. As long as the economy and the Fed’s tapering program are well synchronized, the market can trend higher by another 10%-15% in 2014 while not losing control of the long-end of the yield curve.
It all sounds warm and fuzzy when predicting the future. However, there will be moments of truth along the way that will test this powerful bull trend. It’s Job One for all of us to not get too comfortable, as that is when the downside surprises show up out of nowhere.
Until we have to cross any of those challenging bridges, my high-yield portfolio is sitting well with the current investment landscape.
Enjoy the holiday season, and Happy New Year.