Mar 20, 2019

It appears nothing can move long-dated U.S. Treasury yields higher

Data: Yahoo! Finance, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

It appears nothing can move long-dated U.S. Treasury yields higher. At around 2.6%, the yield on benchmark 10-year notes is almost unchanged from where it was in late 2017 just before the enactment of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act.

Why it matters: Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, argues in a recent note to clients that the yield curve is signaling "weak global economic growth and low inflation without necessarily implying a recession in the U.S."

By the numbers: Yardeni notes that since the Tax Cut & Jobs Act, "the 12-month federal budget deficit has ballooned from $681 billion through December 2017 to $914 billion through January 2019."

That explains the strong rebound in U.S. stocks so far this year, he says. Credit spreads "also support this thesis" as the difference between the 10-year Treasury yield and high yield corporate bonds has fallen significantly since Dec. 24.

The bottom line: "Perhaps," Yardeni writes, "there is too much pessimism about the global economic outlook."

Go deeper: Last week, U.S. Treasury yields fell to their lowest level in about 2 months

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Older candidates take the lead on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — all close to 80 — are pushing the boundaries on social media, while their younger Democratic presidential rivals are comparatively staying out of the fray.

The big picture: President Trump's unexpected rise to political power has shown Democrats and world leaders the power of harnessing popular internet culture to get elected.

South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures as coronavirus cases jump

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures, with several towns in the north effectively placed in lockdown, as it confirmed two deaths and infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy