We have identified thirteen similar moves, where rates initially spiked 70 bps in 14 days and looked at how rates and the S&P 500 subsequently behaved 10/30/90 days after the move.
In six of the thirteen cases, the S&P 500 was down by 3 percent or more 30 days after the rate spike. In three of these cases, the 10-year continued to move higher by at least 20 bps over the next 30 days. The most infamous was the 300 bps spike in 1987, where the 10-year moved from 7.01 percent in mid-January to 10.23 percent just prior to the October stock market crash.
In some cases, the rate spike signaled improved economic and financial conditions such as the case in the March 1999, shortly after the Russian Debt Default and collapse of Long Term Capital. This was followed by a massive stock move, which ultimately proved to be the final leg and blow-off top of the dot.com bubble.
The chart below does show interest rates and the stock market can move higher together over relatively long periods, which we believe will be the case if policymakers begin to address the structural imbalances in the economy. Though rates are currently moving off historical lows, and such a big move is not surprising, there is, however, added uncertainty on the message of move given the current environment of large deficits and heightened sovereign risk.
We strongly urge the politicos not to be complacent and dismiss the rate move as confidence the economy is improving, even if it does partially explain the increase. Washington should rather take it as a “Sputnik moment” and further motivation to address and develop long-term solutions to the country’s budget deficit and debt overhang. Failing to do so will make what happened in 1987 look like a walk in Central Park.