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The U.S. Treasury yield curve has been flattening over the last few months as the Federal Reserve prepares to hike rates, and some analysts are forecasting more extreme moves or even inversion.What does a flattening curve mean?
A steepening curve typically signals expectations of stronger economic activity, higher inflation, and higher interest rates. A flattening curve can mean the opposite: investors expect rate hikes in the near term and have lost confidence in the economy's growth outlook. WHY IS THE YIELD CURVE FLATTENING NOW?Why does the yield curve slope upward?
It provides a clear, visual image of long-term versus short-term bonds at various points in time. The yield curve typically slopes upward because investors want to be compensated with higher yields for assuming the added risk of investing in longer-term bonds. Keep in mind that rising bond yields reflect falling prices and vice versa.How do you combat a flattening yield curve?
One way to combat a flattening yield curve is to use what's called a Barbell strategy, balancing a portfolio between long-term and short-term bonds. This strategy works best when the bonds are "laddered," or staggered at certain intervals.