There’s one chart that could cast doubt on an age-old market adage.
As Treasury yields hover around multiyear highs with the 10-year inching toward the 3 percent mark, Oppenheimer technician Ari Wald says that history shows that rising rates are actually bullish for the market. A more common belief is that a rising rate environment bodes ill for stocks, but Wald says the technicals point to the opposite.
“The key point for us is that the direction of interest rates is equally, if not more important, than the level of interest rates,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “So in general, we’re of the view that low and rising tends to be bullish for stocks and high and [falling rates] is what’s bearish.”
On a chart of the 10-year yield and the S&P 500 going back to 2000, Wald points out that since then falling interest rates have actually coincided with a drop in the market.
“If you look back through history, you’ll see that it was a downturn in interest rates that coincided with market tops in 2000 and 2007, as well as what we’ve been calling the top in risk in that 2014 to 2015 period,” he said. “So we see rising rates as growth coming back into the market.”
As a result, Wald believes that if investors are looking to put money to work, cyclical sectors like financials look to be a good bet right now. He cautions against bond proxies like utilities, telecom and real estate investment trusts as he believes they are going to “get hammered” in the current environment.
But Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, says that from a fundamental standpoint, the rate rally could still pose a threat to stocks.
“We could be in a situation where rates are rising because of deficit financing, we could be in stagflation,” he said on “Trading Nation.” “That is in no way positive for stocks, so I remain highly dubious that rising rates are actually positive for stocks unless we have 3 to 4 percent growth.”
And according to Schlossberg, that high growth percentage looks unlikely. “If you have rising rates and not strong growth, then you have P/E compression and then you definitely have a decline in stocks,” he added.
On Wednesday, the 10-year yield was sitting at around 2.89 percent, hovering near highs unseen since January 2014.