High Yield Exhaustion

With Treasury yields at historic lows investors have gone after yield in other segments of the market, the high yield bond market is often one of the places investors seek out in that chase for income. Today we are going to take a look at the iShares High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG).

With the rally in equities, HYG has also seen its price rise, taking it back to September and October highs. Many technicians argue the validity of a triple top, but what I want to focus on is the exhaustion that appears to be happening in the high yield ETF. As HYG has gotten near the $93 level we’ve seen momentum, based on the Relative Strength Index (top panel), diminish. Each attempt to make a new high appears to be accompanied by fewer and fewer buyers. With yesterday’s price action taking us just a few cents under the previous level of resistance, the RSI is also a hair below the October level, and well under the September level in momentum.

We can also see that each rally was done on declining volume. When traders take a security to new highs or levels of resistance, they often look for heavy volume to be present. Large volume tells us that there is a lot of demand for shares, which we don’t seem to be seeing in HYG. Instead, each rally attempt has been on dying volume, giving traders less confidence that resistance can be broken.

With that said, there is still some hope for HYG. As I wrote yesterday, this market is currently swaying to the words of Congress. If we get a debt deal then there’s a definite possibility that the $93 level can be taken out and bulls will maintain in control.

Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+.

About Andrew Thrasher, CMT

Andrew Thrasher, CMT is a Portfolio Manager for an asset management firm in Central Indiana. He specializes and writes about technical analysis as well as macro economic developments.