Data Show Steeper Yield Curves Have Not Been Negative For Stocks


Some traders and journalists have speculated that the recent selloff in the S&P 500 was not related to concerns over a September Federal Reserve rate hike. Instead, they point to steepening yield curves, particularly in Japan, as what has spooked investors.

Turning Point Analytics went back to look at the impact that steepening Japanese yield curves have had on the S&P 500 in the past, and the evidence is far from convincing.

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The firm created the following chart that highlights three previous times the Japanese yield curve sharply steepened in the past eight years. Every other period of steepening other than the current one coincided with S&P 500 gains.

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In addition, Turning Point pointed out that the S&P 500 also delivered gains during four similar periods of U.S. 210-year yield curve steepening in recent years.

Given the historic patterns for the S&P 500 when either the Japan or the U.S. yield curve steepen, there seems little justification to link the recent selloff in stocks to the steepening in the Japan yield curve, Turning Point concluded.

Despite the recent selloff, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) is still up 4.5 percent this year. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSE:EWJ) is up only 0.04 percent in 2016.

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