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Why interest rates could be the 'fly in the ointment' for the market

Here's how rising rates and inflation will impact equities

Interest rates and classic measures of inflation have been pinned down to historically muted levels in recent years. As both show signs of creeping higher, some market watchers see the combination as a potential headwind for stocks.

Inflation and the 10-year Treasury yield rising together are of particular importance to Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments. He told CNBC's "Trading Nation" the combination could be the "fly in the ointment" for the market. Here are his reasons why.

• Consumer Price Index data published earlier this month reflected the largest increase in 11 months; the index is traditionally a reliable inflation gauge.

• Treasury yields have been rising steadily this year. The 10-year Treasury yield on Thursday hit its highest level since mid-2014; the 2- and 5-year Treasury yields hit their highest levels since 2008 and 2010, respectively.

• The broader fundamental backdrop is relatively healthy, so rising rates and rising inflation after an elongated period of tepid inflation growth could present a headwind for stocks, as well as a buying opportunity in bonds.

• Investors may begin viewing bonds as more attractive as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield climbs toward 2.7 percent; it was at 2.64 percent Friday morning.

Bottom line: Steadily rising inflation indicators coupled with rising Treasury yields could prove to be a headwind for stocks.