Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long bonds flying on Operation Twist - $ZB_F $TLT

Earlier this afternoon on Twitter, I noted that the long bond ETF, TLT was up over 10% (then quoted near $114.60) since S&P downgraded the USA's debt rating to AA+ on August 5, 2011.

Well, it looks like we'll have to update those stats already, thanks to the pop in 30 year bonds (ZB_F) and in TLT on news of Operation Twist, the Fed's telegraphed scheme to sell $400bn of short maturity bonds and reinvest in longer (6 to 30 year) bonds by June 2012. 

Here's how the market reacted to that news. Note the flagpole move up in TLT and the 30 year Treasury futures, ZB_F on the intraday charts. 

 Above: 5 minute chart of the 30 year Treasury futures, via

Here's an intraday chart of TLT, courtesy of

The updated daily chart of the TLT, marking the August 5th closing price to today's action on the Twist announcement. Chart via

So in the space of 20 minutes, we had to recalculate that 6 week return figure (post S&P debt downgrade): the long bond ETF TLT is now up 13% since its close on August 5th, based on an intraday price of $117.70

What a difference a day makes...