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Utilities sector ETF falls toward record losing streak as Treasury yields jump

MarketWatch
MarketWatch
 21 days ago
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The SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF fell 0.2% in afternoon trading, putting them on track for a record losing streak and a two-month low, as a recent spike in longer-term Treasury yields made the higher-yielding sector tracker less attractive. The SPDR utilities ETF (XLU) is headed for the lowest close since July 22 and a 12th-straight decline, which would surpass the previous record for consecutive declines of 11, which ended Oct. 7, 2016. The XLU's recent selloff comes the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has run up 12.5 basis points in two days toward a 12-week high, after the Federal Reserve said the it "may soon be warranted" to start tapering bond purchases. Utilities stocks are viewed by many investors as a bond proxy, given their relative stability and relatively high yield -- the XLU's dividend yield of 3.03% compares with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.36%. As bond yields rise, and bond prices fall, utilities stocks tend to fall. During the XLU's previous record losing streak, the 10-year Treasury yield had reached a 4-month high, on its way toward a more than 2-year high about two months later.

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