The price of U.S. Treasuries, after a robust rally in 2011 driven by safety-minded investors, has nowhere to go but down, and smart investors should take advantage of a market that is underestimating the possibility of a sudden drop in the price of those securities.
That, among other investment tactics, was suggested by Wells Fargo fixed-income strategist Rich Gordon, in a video posted by financial blog Wall Street Media.
"The risk/return profile of overweighting Treasuries right now is very assymetric. A quick 25-basis-point uptick in yield would quickly result in a couple of points lost and a negative total return," Gordon warned. "The chances of that kind of move in the first quarter shouldn't be underestimated."
Gordon noted that yields on U.S. Treasuries have been trading within what he called a "tight 35-basis-point range" between 185 and 220, but he predicted upward pressure as a result of recent positive economic data.
"We can easily see yields testing the uper boundary of that range during the first quarter," he said.
Since prices of bonds move against yields, Gordon suggested a strategy where investors should consider buying Treasuries "only for brief periods if the market is very oversold." He also suggested out-of-the-money swap puts -- bets that Treasuries will go down in price.
U.S. government securities are not the only instrument Gordon is bearish on.
He believes the euro will touch the $1.21 mark -- a substantial drop from current levels near $1.27 -- due to what he calls "inherent weakness in the currency."
"A weakening euro is one of the clearest trends in the financial markets," Gordon said.