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Bonds at a Critical Juncture Ahead of 30-Year Auction

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Will $124 prove as support or resistance for TLT?

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Bonds have been all of the rage this year. Many were calling for a bubble early this spring, only to see prices make new multi-year highs in the past month. However, as equities continue to rally, something has to give going forward.

Bonds and equities typically trade in an inverse fashion, but recent woes in European bond markets has driven money into the American bond. With interest rates essentially at zero, stocks have benefited from the "free money" policies of the Fed -- courtesy of Ben Bernanke's Keynesian money machine. While Bernanke has signaled that rates will "remain at low levels well into 2014," nothing in the economic world is certain. One thing is for sure -- should interest rates jump significantly, bond holders will surely feel the pain of the inflation trade.

Taking a technical look at the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT), which is an exchange-traded fund that represents long-term bond prices, you'll notice that it's currently trading near the key 124 level. This area acted as resistance during late 2011, and has supported TLT multiple times in the past few months. Additionally, there is an unfilled gap higher on May 30 that could add additional technical support for TLT. (See chart below.)


Click to enlarge

At 1:00 p.m. ET today, there is a very important 30-year bond auction. Yesterday's 10-year note auction showed weakening demand, which drove yields higher. With bonds trading right near this critical area, today's response should signal whether this is a support level, or will provide a ceiling to short against in the future.

This article by Bryan Sapp was originally published on Schaeffer's Investment Research.

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