Long Bond Treasury Cycles, Current Price Resistance And Fed Chairman Yellen's Comment Impact

Mar.24.14 | About: iShares 20+ (TLT)


New Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Yellen surprises the market last week by introducing a more hawkish than expected potential interest rate hike time table.

The treasury long bond reverses course on Friday and heads back to re-test resistance at the TLT ETF $108 to $109 price level again this year for the fourth time.

Key active cycles and price vectors in the long bond Treasuries are coming into phase this month and what that may indicate regarding bond price action forward.

A strategy to consider as we test the key bond price resistance level again for breakout or reversal.

Since my last article on the treasury long bond just over seven months ago, when the long bond was trading at $105.50 as measured by the TLT ETF, TLT's price has dipped down to my buy signal of $102.5 three major times: later that same August, again in September, and finally in December. Between August and October it rallied back up to just above $108 before falling all the way back again. A trading range between just over $109 and just under $102 has seemed to be in effect since about the 3RD week of July, two weeks prior to my last long bond article and analysis.

Summarizing last year, Treasury long bond prices saw a particularly difficult time between May and mid-August, beginning shortly after the Federal Reserve hinted it was developing a schedule for winding down its $85 billion per month bond purchasing program, Fed "tapering" speculation hit the bond market hard. Prices fell sharply and quickly. An 8% drop occurred during just that first month of May, from about $124 to about $114 as measured by the TLT. Nearly another 8 points came off by the first week of July, and by mid-August the TLT bounced off a summer low of just above $102, for a loss of almost 18% in just three and a half months.

Investors have since shown a strong preference for rising stocks over bonds, with the DJIA moving from about the 14,700 level to its current level around 16,300, a gain of over 11%.

On balance, Treasury long bond prices have stabilize since last summer's article, finding continued technical support in this new price range. And now that we have found what could be a classic major longer term triple bottom in the long bond, some analysts consider them a buy again. However, other analysts continue to warn of what they believe will be continuing price weakness this year -- and potentially beyond.


Last February 19TH's FMOC Minutes apparently provided little additional lift to bond prices; in fact, bonds broke down to new annual lows the very next day, on Thursday, before ending the week. That following Thursday's better-than-expected ADM payroll number and ISM manufacturing number also appeared to be catalysts for the breakdown. Friday's worse-than-expected job numbers and further moderating comments by the St. Louis Fed President on Fed tapering helped halt Thursday's strong dire-looking long bond price down-pressure and continued downward momentum, at least going into the weekend. Long bond prices stabilized that week in the TLT $106-$107 range. The following week, coming off the typical monthly cyclical price strength that has occurred regularly so far this year, the TLT rallied back up to around the $109 level before beginning to sag again. We've seen this price level toppiness challenged with slightly descending lower highs for resistance on February 3RD, March 3RD, and again on March 14TH before going into last week's FOMC Statement on Tuesday, March 18TH, this past. See the chart below for perspective and highlights on this price action.

The March 18 FOMC Statement also did little in itself to inspire long bond prices to lift beyond resistance. In fact, over the next two days TLT prices dropped almost a full point, from about $108 to $107, and a retest of the $106 levels seemed yet again imminent. However, many headlines have carried new Chairman Yellen's hint that a Fed rate hike may be in the offing up to 6 months ahead of many banker's expectations, and as early as 4 months from now. And this issue, now digested, has appeared to charge the market, and we saw a bounce back above the $108 level before Friday's close.

And this year's and last fall's $108-$109 resistance levels is again being challenged, but this time at a very interesting cyclical time, and off some very interesting comment by the new Fed Chairman.


In this context, today is a very good day for a review of a price chart of the treasury long bond from an EchoVector Pivot Point Analysis Perspective. Today's review will be an update to the charts presented in my last article, "Today's EchoVector Pivot Point Chart And Analysis: The Long Treasury Bond", published last August 5TH. We're looking for occurrences of possible echovector price symmetries forward for the past quarter (quarterly cycle), the past year (annual cycle), the past 2-years (congressional cycle), and the past 4-years (presidential cycle) that may be forming within the context of this past week's and this past month's general price levels and their price action, and we are intending to review these potentially relevant cyclical time frame symmetries' for their potential trading implications going forward, especially with regard to any cyclical up-pressure breakout potential from the current $108-$109 resistance price level area. This coming week is sure to be a significant week in the long bond market on this score, as we once again challenge this resistance after the Fed Chairman's comments last week. In this analysis, I will highlight these four primary Cyclical EchoVector Perspectives for their forward trading implications. In additional charts I'll also note the shorter Bi-Monthly Cycle EchoVector and the Monthly Cycle EchoVectors and consider their potential pivot point projections as well.



(White, Yellow, Red, and Green)

Click to enlarge

In the above chart we notice the significant symmetry occurring around this past Friday and the corresponding echo-backdates on the annual cycle, and on the congressional cycle and on the presidential cycle as well. We also note the price lift that occurred from the preceding Wednesday low into the close of this last day of trading, Friday, before options expiration, in the corresponding echo-back time-period in the quarterly cycle and in the annual cycle and in the bi-annual cycle. And, we also see the relative strength and potential price uplift that occurs from the Tuesday that follows in the first week of April within in each of these cycle's respective echo-back time-periods. Also, the echovector coordination that occurs from the preceding nearby monthly lows to the monthly lows preceding Friday's close (preceding dotted coordinate echovector), within each echovector cycle illustrated, and the corresponding slope momentum indicated in each active echovector (solid color) illustrated, is also quite significant. These powerful symmetries may strengthen the argument for near-term positioning bias to the upside after the first week of April's early week lows.

Zoom of Congressional Cycle EchoVector and Key Coordinate Echo-backdates (Yellow) and Annual Cycle EchoVector and Key Coordinate Echo-backdates (Red)

Click to enlarge

The above chart zoom further identifies these key corresponding symmetries and coordinate preceding echovectors to the corresponding cycle echovectors discussed above.

Further Zoom of Quarterly Cycle EchoVector and Key Coordinate Echo-backdates (Green) and Bi-Monthly Cycle EchoVector and Key Coordinate Echo-backdates (Grey) and Monthly Cycle EchoVector and Key Coordinate Echo-backdates (Peach)

Click to enlarge

The further zoomed chart above additionally identifies the key active monthly (peach) and bi-monthly (grey) echovectors and their echo-backdates to this past Friday's close. What is noteworthy here is that, although the quarterly echovector (green) identifies weakness on a cyclical quarterly echo-back time-period for the weak following the Friday's echo-backdate, suggesting the same forward this quarter, both the monthly echovector and the bi-monthly echovector indicate potential relative strength forward, both occurring in this calendar year. We also note the key descending triple top resistance price level formed in February and March, and how we are moving now a fourth time into testing it again, and this time from a higher low.


Last week's FOMC Statement and new Fed Chairman Yellen's recent comments regarding the potential interest rate hike time table, and the recent challenge yet again to the key price resistance level this year, makes this a particularly timely period to consider attention to long bond positioning strategy forward. Adding to these influences are the convergence of positive indicators regarding symmetry transpositions in significant cyclical echovector periods, particularly in the congressional cycle echovector, the annual cycle echovector, the bi-monthly cycle echovector, monthly cycle echovector. Additionally significant echovectors also may appear to support relative price up-pressure given enough forward time into April, particularly the presidential cycle echovector and the congressional cycle echovector. However, the annual cycle echovector at the end of April becomes precipitously negative, and positive counter-clockwise pivoting action in this significant echovector would need to ensue for further gains to occur.

Remaining nimble while preparing for a potential retest of key resistance levels, while being prepared for both reversal and breakout, may be the key this week. We've implied that we plan to look at opportunities for potential short-term long side swing trading bias implementation going forward, keep an eye on the annual, bi-annual, and presidential cycle echovectors going forward, as well as the shorter term quarterly and monthly based echovectors within the annual cycle evidenced in the charts above. We will also be prepared for possible continuations in the annual cycle down-pressure as well.

If you believe the time has come to re-enter the Treasury long bond, I suggest using active and adjustable straddling positions to manage your exposure to general price level changes in either direction. Setting advanced management straddles at key coordinate forecast levels is an effective and opportune measure, and advanced trade strategy I think prudent to mention. Such an approach to the bond market at this time could prove very valuable at engaging and effectively managing risk and reward. One way to employ such a straddle would be to utilize the TLT ETF mentioned in this analysis by setting up an advanced trade technology approach (see "On-Off-Through Vector Target Price Switch") to positioning and position management, with appropriate dynamic triggers and stops included -- for example, at $108.50 on the TLT.

To perform the short side of the straddle, set a short trigger below $108.50 on the TLT pre-programmed as a "repeating short trigger switch" at this trigger level on reverse down-tick action through the trigger price, with stops set to activate on reverse uptick up-through action. To perform the long side of the straddle, set a long trigger above 108.50 pre-programmed as a "repeating long trigger switch" on reverse uptick action through the trigger, with stops set to activate on reverse down-tick down-through action.

We hope the analysis provided in this article helps to lend additional context to your potentially already broad and extensive bond market view and analysis, and that it helps you to further sharpen your clarity and insight. I always recommend considering a broad range of considerations, analysis, and approaches when assessing the markets for any investment decision.

EchoVector Type And Cycle Length Color Code Guide for Charts

  1. Presidential Cycle EchoVector (Four-Year): White
  2. Congressional Cycle EchoVector (Two-Year): Yellow
  3. Annual Cycle EchoVector (One-Year): Red
  4. Quarterly Cycle EchoVector (Three Months): Green
  5. Bi-Monthly Cycle EchoVector: Grey
  6. Monthly Cycle EchoVector: Peach
  7. Select Coordinate Preceding Pivot Point EchoVectors: Dotted
  8. Select Coordinate Forecast EchoVectors: Spaced
  9. Cycle EchoVectors from Starting Date and time-point 3/21/2014 Close: Solid

Thanks for reading.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.