After starting off the year at 3 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield has spent the last two months in a tight range between 2.6 percent and 2.8 percent. But Jeffrey Rosenberg, chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock, says that yield could rise to 3.5 percent this year once economic data start to improve.
"It's in the next one to two months when we're going to see if this data really accelerates, and that's what's going to break you out of this 2.60, 2.80 range," Rosenberg said on Tuesday's episode of "Futures Now."
At this point, he's predicting that the 10-year yield finishes the year at "three and a quarter," though it could rise as high as "three and a half if we end up even stronger on the year in terms of data growth."
The issue as it stands is that economic numbers from the first quarter have looked weak. But Rosenberg (no known relation to the writer) believes that after a harsh winter, the data will improve alongside the weather.
"We do expect the weather effect to begin to come off in terms of the data. And when do we expect that? Well we expected it, to be honest, to show a little bit more last week," in the employment report.
"Obviously we got some disappointment in that. So you go forward and you look at the next economic data release—we may end up having to wait until the April data and the May data to really see that. So it's in the next one to two months when we're going to see if the data really accelerates."
Since he expects that the data will improve and yields will consequently rise, Rosenberg is cautious about many bonds. Rather than outright owning Treasurys, he recommends putting on flattening strategies, in which one bets that the divergence between long-term rates and short-term rates will diminish.
—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg