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Vaccines will 'boost confidence dramatically' and lift Treasury yields in 2021, Wells Fargo predicts

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VIDEO1:0501:05
Wells Fargo cites vaccines for its bearishness on long duration bonds

Wells Fargo Securities is pushing a bearish case for bonds in its official 2021 outlook.

Michael Schumacher, the firm's head of macro strategy, expects the 10-year and 30-year Treasury Note yields to move meaningfully higher due to progress against the coronavirus.

"In a word, it's vaccines," he told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday. "As vaccine distribution picks up, we think it's going to boost confidence dramatically. That's when you see a lot more hiring going on. Importantly, that's when policymakers should become a lot more comfortable with yields ticking up a bit."

Schumacher's call comes as Wall Street gets ready for Tuesday's final Federal Reserve meeting of the year on interest rates.

"My colleagues and I at Wells Fargo think that vaccine distribution goes on for a couple of months, [the] situation looks a lot better and [Fed chief] Jerome Powell and friends say 'Well, okay. We can deal with another 20, 30, 40 basis points, whatever might be in the 10-year yield,'" he said.

His forecast is vastly different from last winter when coronavirus fears began gripping the global market. On "Trading Nation" in late January, Schumacher predicted coronavirus fears would drive more investors into the U.S. Treasury market as a safe haven play and drive yields sharply lower.

About a month later, during overnight trading on March 9, the 10-year Treasury yield plunged to an all-time low of 0.318%.

Now Schumacher's base case has the benchmark 10-year yield between 1.15% to 1.35% by 2021's halfway point. That implies a 23% to 50%% increase from Monday's close.

"If everything were to line up really perfectly, economically and in terms of vaccine, maybe yields go up to 1.50%," Schumacher said.

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Why vaccine distribution speed is key to Wells Fargo's bond forecast