Wall Street Veteran Reveals the Lingering Effects of This Popular Recession Indicator

**Title: The Yield Curve and its Warning Signs for the Economy and Markets**


Wall Street analysts and investment strategists often rely on “recession indicators” to manage risk and predict economic disasters. One of the most famous indicators is the yield curve, which has preceded every U.S. recession since 1969. However, it is important to note that not every yield curve inversion has resulted in a recession. Megan Horneman, Chief Investment Officer at Verdence Capital Advisors, warns that investors should not become complacent about this historical recession indicator, as it suggests a potential recession in the second half of this year.

**Understanding the Yield Curve and its Significance**

The yield curve represents the relationship between the yields of related bonds, such as the U.S. 10-year Treasury and two-year Treasury. Normally, longer-term bonds have higher yields than shorter-term bonds due to the increased risk of locking up money for a longer period. This relationship is depicted by an upward sloping curve. However, there are instances when the yield curve inverts, indicating that long-term bond yields fall below short-term bond yields.

An inverted yield curve suggests that investors are shifting their money from short-term bonds to long-term bonds in anticipation of a near-term decline in economic activity, which could lead the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates. It reflects a growing pessimism in the market regarding the future prospects of the economy. The yield curve inverted on July 5th, 2022, and has remained inverted since then.

**Megan Horneman’s Warning**

Megan Horneman, drawing upon the yield curve inversion and other economic signals, including the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) sinking to its lowest level since July 2020, predicts that a recession in the second half of this year is now unavoidable. Additionally, despite a decline in year-over-year inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish comments about continuing the fight against inflation indicate the likelihood of two more rate hikes this year. History suggests that most Fed tightening cycles do not end smoothly, with the majority resulting in an economic recession.

**The Yield Curve as a Warning Sign for Markets**

Recessions have negative consequences for stocks, with slower economic growth, higher unemployment rates, and reduced corporate earnings. Horneman advises caution, highlighting that this year’s market rally may have been an anomaly compared to historical trends. After the yield curve reaches its lowest point, the S&P 500 traditionally posts an average gain of only 4.4% in the following 12 months. However, the index has already gained nearly 9% since the yield curve hit its lowest level in March.

Horneman suggests that equity valuations continue to rise on the optimism surrounding the potential end of the Fed’s tightening cycle. However, she cautions that equity markets historically do not bottom out until a recession is imminent. She anticipates a “10-15% decline when investors become realistic with the interest rate, economic, and earnings environment.”


The yield curve is a valuable indicator used by Wall Street analysts and investment strategists to predict potential economic disasters. While it has accurately preceded every U.S. recession since 1969, not every yield curve inversion leads to a recession. Nonetheless, Megan Horneman’s analysis of the yield curve inversion, coupled with other economic signals, suggests a recession in the second half of this year is likely. Investors should exercise caution and be prepared for potential market declines as the economy faces challenges in the face of rising interest rates.

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