Kensho Stats

Here’s how stocks should react if Bill Gross is right about a bond bear market

Bill Gross
Bill Gross

Bond guru Bill Gross of Janus Capital predicted Tuesday that if the 10-year Treasury yield breaks out above a key chart level of 2.6 percent a "secular bear bond market has begun."

Recent history suggests a bond bear (falling prices/rising yields) will be good for the stock market and Goldman Sachs, at least in the near term, CNBC PRO found.

It's tough to get an idea about how today's market will react to such a scenario over the long term since yields have been in a downward trend since the 1980s. For a short-term view, we looked at what happened to the Dow Jones industrial average, Dow members and market industry groups during one-month declines in bond prices in the last decade and here's what we found.

Using hedge fund analytics tool Kensho, we found the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF — a good proxy for the bond market — declined 5 percent or more over a one-month period 24 times in the last decade.

Here's the average return of the Dow Jones Industrial average and the best-performing members of the Dow during that one month.

Here are the best-performing S&P 500 industry groups when bond prices are falling significantly over one month's time.

So as shown in the tables above, a drop in bond prices sparks a rally in banks, shares of companies most leveraged to economic growth and the market overall.

To be sure, rising bond prices and lower rates have coincided with generally climbing stock market levels over the last three decades so it is tough to say with certainty what will happen to stocks if rates continue to rise for longer periods.

But one could argue the reason why stocks responded positively to falling prices/rising yields in the last decade and will continue to do so going forward is because — unlike in the 1980s — rates are rising off unnaturally low levels and inflation is still relatively low. The stock market wants to leave behind the "new normal" malaise once described by Gross. It wants higher rates, a little higher inflation and stronger growth.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.