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Treasury Yields and Markets React to Long and Short Term Covid News

Last week it was Pfizer and this week its Moderna: more positive news about the availability for a Covid vaccine. Pfizer is expected to apply for approval for emergency use of their vaccine as soon as this Friday, vaccinations will start this year. This hugely positive news is in contrast to the situation today: spikes in infections, hospitalizations and possible restrictions going into the holidays. Today’s announcement that the NY school system is closing and switching to remote learning rattled markets. The 10 year Treasury yield that nearly hit 1.00% last week dropped to as low as 0.84% today. Yesterday’s weaker than expected retail sales numbers also contributed to the drop in yield. The urgency of a “final” stimulus bill that can act as a bridge to the wide distribution of a vaccine is becoming apparent. Several cliffs loom at year end: federal unemployment insurance, student loan payment freeze, mortgage forbearance and eviction moratoriums. The hope now is for the lame duck congress to pass stimulus as part of the efforts to continue funding the government beyond December 11. Stay tuned. By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners