The Treasury Bond ETF Rebounds, Utilities Set New High As Junk Bonds Slip

Mar. 11, 2019 3:29 AM ETJNK, TLT, XLU1 Comment
Richard Suttmeier profile picture
Richard Suttmeier


  • The Treasury bond ETF held its 200-day simple moving average at $118.93, then closed Friday above its semiannual pivot at $121.37 with my quarterly risky level at $125.62.
  • The Utilities Sector ETF set a new all-time high last week at $57.70 with my monthly pivot at $56.90 and my annual risky level at $58.98.
  • The High Yield Bond ETF remains below its “reversion to the mean” since Nov. 2014 with this 200-week SMA at $36.06. Weakness on Friday held my quarterly pivot at $35.27.

The yield on the 30-Year Treasury Bond held its 200-day simple moving average at 3.120% on Monday as the weakness in the global economy returned U.S. Treasuries to “flight to safety” status. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues to tighten monetary policy by unwinding its bloated balance sheet.

The utilities stock ETF offers a dividend yield of 3.19% which makes XLU less attractive as a “flight to safety” investment.

The junk bond ETF continues to rally with stocks, but the upside should be limited to its “reversion to the mean” at $36.06. This ETF has been below its 200-week simple moving average since the week of Nov. 14, 2014.

Here are the daily charts for these ETFs

The 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT)

The U.S. Treasury 30-Year Bond ETF trades like a stock and is a basket of U.S. Treasury bonds with maturities of 20+ years to 30 years. As a stock-type investment it never matures, and interest income is converted to periodic dividend payments.

Daily Chart For TLTCourtesy of Refinitiv XENITH

The Treasury Bond ETF ($121.57 on March 8) is flat so far in 2019 after setting its 2019 high of $123.86 on Jan. 3. This ETF is up 8.6% from its $111.90 on Nov. 2. TLT has a neutral weekly chart with the ETF above its five-week modified moving average of $120.63. The ETF remains below its 200-week simple moving average or “reversion to the mean” at $123.86. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading declined to 62.53 last week down from 69.92 on March 1.

Investor Strategy: Buy weakness to my monthly value level at $116.15 and reduce holdings on strength to the 200-week SMA at $123.86. My semiannual pivot is $121.37 with my quarterly risky level is $125.62.

The Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLU)

Daiy Chart For XLUCourtesy of Refinitiv XENITH

The Utility Stock ETF ($57.55 on March 8) is up 8.4% so far in 2019 and is 12.9% above its Dec. 26 low of $50.81. XLU has a positive but overbought weekly chart with the ETF above its 5-week modified moving average at $55.87 and above its 200-week simple moving average or “reversion to the mean” at $49.95. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic rose to 82.07 last week up from 73.93 on March 1 moving above the overbought threshold of 80.00.

Investor Strategy: Investors should buy weakness my semiannual pivot at $52.38 and to the 200-week SMA at $49.95 and reduce holdings on strength to my annual risky level at $58.98. My quarterly and monthly risky pivots remain at $55.87 and $56.90, respectively.

SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:JNK)

Daily Chart For JNKCourtesy of Refinitiv XENITH

The Junk Bond ETF ($35.40 on March 8) is up 5.4% so far in 2019 and is 7.5% above its Dec. 26 low of $32.92. JNK has a positive but overbought weekly chart with the ETF above its five-week modified moving average at $35.19 but still below its 200-week simple moving average or “reversion to the mean” at $36.06. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading rose to 91.34 last week up from 89.81 on March 1. With the reading above 90.00 JNK has become an “inflating parabolic bubble”.

Investor Strategy: Buy weakness to my semiannual value level of $32.74 and reduce holdings on strength to the 200-week simple moving average at $36.06. My semiannual and quarterly pivots are $34.20 and $35.27, respectively.

This article was written by

Richard Suttmeier profile picture
I am the Founder & CEO at Global Market Consultants, Ltd. I consider myself as a Financial Engineer with an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science degree from Brooklyn Poly. In 1972 I began my career in the financial services industry trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. I became the first long bond trader for Bache in 1978, and formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild in 1981, helping establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. This experience gave me the insights to be an expert on monetary policy, which I feature in my newsletters, and market commentary. I formed Global Market Consultants Ltd at the end of 1988 and expanded on my analysis to include proprietary analytics. While operating Global Market Consultants I was the U.S. Treasury Strategist at Smith Barney 1991 through 1995, was Chief Financial Strategist at William R. Hough in St. Petersburg, Florida 1997 through 1999, and was Chief Market Strategist at Joseph Stevens 1999 into 2008. I began covering U.S. equities in 1997 and began to use ValuEngine as my stock screening tool in 2002 before joining them as Chief Market Strategist between September 2008 and November 2014. I was the Chief Market Strategist at Niagara International Capital Limited between December 2009 and December 2014. In 2005 through 2007 I wrote columns on and authored Technology Report. My unique coverage called for the housing bubble to pop in 2005 and for regional banks to collapse in 2006 and early-2007. This is when my proprietary analytics became known as value levels at which to buy on weakness and risky levels at which to sell on strength. I became an Expert Contributor for in April 2012 and currently write one or two stories a day covering subjects such as: The housing market, community and regional banks, momentum stocks, earnings profiles both before companies report quarterly results and provide scorecards after reporting results. Many of my stories we include moving averages, momentum readings, analysts’ earnings estimates, and value levels and risky levels. Over the years I made frequent appearances on financial TV beginning in 1993 on CNBC covering the U.S. Treasury auctions and as a substitute for John Murphy on his segment called ‘Tech Talk’. I also occasionally appeared on CNN and Bloomberg. On almost every holiday I appeared for an hour covering stocks on a call-in / email-the-expert ‘Talking Stocks’ show on CNNfn. In 2002 I had my own show on Yahoo Finance TV called, ‘Traders’ Club with Richard Suttmeier’. When Fox Business began in late-2007 I was a frequent guest on ‘Money for Breakfast’. I also made appearances on Reuters TV, Yahoo Finance Breakout and BNN in Toronto. In recent years I shifted my focus to making presentations to various investor groups such as: MBA students at the University of Florida and South Florida, The American Association of Individual Investors, Wells Fargo Advisors, The Executive Form at the National Arts Club in NYC, Investors Roundtable of Wilmington NC, The Market Technicians Association, The Information Management Network when they cover Florida Banks in Ft Lauderdale, and the University of Tampa Investment Club. I was president of the Society for the Investigation of Recurring Events in NYC from 2000 into 2009. My background began on Long Island, New York. I graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1962, and was a member of the Honor Society, Golf Team, Math Team and Band. I graduated from Georgia Tech in Atlanta with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering Degree in 1966, and was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity, the freshmen Golf Team, and was the captain of the Bowling team. I won the South East Regional Bowling Tournament in 1964 and won the National Intercollegiate Bowling Championship in the Doubles Event that same year. I graduated from Brooklyn Poly in 1970 with a Master of Science in Operations Research, Systems Analysis. My first job out of Georgia Tech was with Grumman Aerospace on Long Island 1966 through 1970 with project assignments on the Lunar Module and F-14 Tomcat Fighter Jet contract proposal. I was with Bank of New York in 1971, as the Senior Systems Analyst for computer applications for the Bank’s International Division. When I shifted my to Wall Street In 1972 I became a U.S. Government securities trader at Briggs Schaedle, a primary dealer where my father was Vice Chairman and my brother was Sales Manager. In 1977 I joined Loab Rhodes as a U.S. Treasury trader. Then my career advanced as noted above. I have been married to Linda since June 1969 and we are the parents of Stephen and Jason Suttmeier. Stephen has been married to Jennifer since 2004 and we have a granddaughter Emily and a grandson Robert. We have been living in Land O’ Lakes, Florida with Jason and his partner James since June 2009.

Disclosure: I/we 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 (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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