US Treasury yields have experienced a dramatic move higher as the market prices in continued rate hikes in the near future. With the increase in long-term Treasury yields, we’re starting to see what looks like the end of a period where the S&P 500 and the 10-year Treasury fought back and forth over which asset class had a more attractive yield.
As shown in the chart below, from 1970 right up to the period before the global financial crisis, the 10-year yield consistently yielded more than the S&P 500. As the Fed cut rates to zero during the crisis, though, the S&P 500 went on to see multiple periods where its dividend yield was in excess of the 10-year Treasury yield. With the recent surge in yields as the Fed embarks on what the market expects to be an aggressive rate hiking cycle, the script has been completely flipped. The 10-year now offers a roughly 125 bps higher yield than the S&P 500 dividend yield which is the widest spread since the fall of 2018 and before that, the fall of 2011. As the spread between the S&P 500 dividend yield and 10-year Treasury yield hits the low end of the GFC/post-GFC era, we would note that current levels are still roughly 200 bps higher than the historical average going back to 1970. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.