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Stock-Surge Signal for U.S. Has Yet to Arrive

Any multiyear rally in U.S. stocks may depend on a signal that the bond market has yet to send, according to Michael Hartnett, Bank of America Corp.’s chief global equity strategist.

Bond yields have to reach “an inflection point” before shares can move into what’s known as a secular bull market if history is any guide, Hartnett wrote in a June 12 report.

The CHART OF THE DAY compares the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the yield on 10-year Treasury notes since 1900, as Hartnett did in his report. The yield figures were compiled by Yale University Professor Robert J. Shiller and obtained from his website.

Hartnett highlighted three inflection points in the past century, as shown in the chart. They foreshadowed stock-market booms during the 1920s, after World War II, and throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s.

A comparable surge in share prices is unlikely, he wrote, “until Treasury yields rise in response to stronger growth and a healthier global economy.” The 10-year yield fell to a record 1.4387 percent this month.

Even so, lower yields are giving investors more incentive to shift into stocks from bonds, the New York-based strategist wrote. He estimated that it will take a 0.6 percent yield for the 10-year’s return in the next 12 months to match stocks’ 20th-century average of 10.5 percent a year.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Wilson in New York at dwilson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

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