All the World's Markets Love the Fed's ‘Patience’—Except the Market for US Treasuries

12/18/2014 9:05 pm EST

Focus: MARKETS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Though two days of gains hardly constitutes a strong trend,MoneyShow's Jim Jubak thinks the reaction to the Fed's new wording may cause traders to try to force the market higher as volume dries up over the Christmas/New Year's holidays.

Everybody loves 'patience' it seems.

Well, maybe not everybody. The Treasury market doesn't seem especially thrilled with the Federal Reserve's new wording to replace the older interest rates will stay at current near 0% levels for a 'considerable time' formulation.

Equity markets around the world have taken heart from the schedule that Fed chair Janet Yellen laid out Wednesday-no interest rate increase until April at the earliest and then a very slow pace for further increases after the initial move.

As of the close Thursday in New York time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.43%, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was ahead 2.4%, and the NASDAQ Composite higher by 2.24%. After Thursday's up day, we're looking at a two-day bounce, at the least.

I say at the least because overseas markets have turned in big up performances in their reaction to the Fed's announcement. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index closed up 2.32%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished up 1.09%, and Mumbai's Sensex ended the day up 1.56%.

European markets were even more positive with the French CAC index gaining 3.35%, the German DAX increasing 2.79%, and the Spanish IBEX racing to a 3.4% gain.

Not everything is up on the day. A few equity markets have country specific troubles that canceled out all of the Fed's statement. Brazil's iBovespa, for example, is down 0.45% Thursday. The Russian ruble fell 1.5% Thursday, giving back part of Wednesday's 12% gain on the dollar. Russia's MICEX stock index climbed 4.5% after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian economy will rebound from the current currency crisis.

While equity investors saw the Fed's statement that it would raise interest rates as early as April as a sign that the central bank saw solid growth in the US economy, the Treasury market has focused on the potential earlier than expected beginning of interest rate increases to move Treasury prices lower. Thursday, the yield on the long 30-year bond has moved up to 2.82%, up 14 basis points from Tuesday's low. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is higher by 7 basis points to 2.21%. The shorter end of the Treasury market hasn't seen yields move as much, which has opened the spread between two-year and 10-year yields.

Oil also hasn't totally joined in the equity market celebration (or the move up in energy stocks.) The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 2.21% to $55.25 but the Brent benchmark was off 3.12% to $59.27 a barrel.

Two days of gains in the equity markets hardly constitutes a strong trend-especially with the weekend coming up-(traders are inclined to square positions and take profits ahead of a weekend.) But putting the Fed meeting in the rearview mirror and the reaction to the Fed's statement does clear the decks for a move higher during the few sessions left in 2014. I think we can expect to see traders try to force the market higher as volume dries up over the Christmas/New Year's holidays.

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