However, bond markets are now factoring in a rosier economic picture judging from changes in the shape of the yield curve—the illustration of how much investors demand to lend money over short and longer periods.
"A steepening yield curve in almost every occasion is a response to improved economic times. Effectively the fixed income market is beginning to discount a strong economic upturn in the next half a year," said Mike Howell, managing director of CrossBorder Capital.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit a 22-month high last week after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the central bank would scale back its bond buying.
The yield curve steepened as a result, with the gap between two-year and 10-year yields reaching 222 basis points compared to 169 basis point before Bernanke's intervention.
(Read More: Expected Rotation Out of Bonds Rattles Hedge Funds)
This adjustment should eventually filter into other asset classes as they price in a better economic backdrop.
A move higher in real interest rates—nominal rates minus inflation—also reflects expectations that companies will start borrowing and spending again to expand their business, having hoarded cash after the financial crisis.
"The change in real interest rates means big capital spending is coming back and return on capital is beginning to increase again," Howell said.
Higher inflation-adjusted rates also point to a better rate of return on investment, another indicator of improving economic fortunes.
Howell expects a rotation into stocks more geared to a healthier economy.
Income Mania Over?
Capital is already flowing out of low-yielding bonds. Pimco Total Return fund, the world's largest bond fund, suffered record outflows of $9.6 billion in June, in a second straight month of withdrawals.
Mutual and exchange-traded bond funds lost a record $79.8 billion in June, according to TrimTabs Investment Research.
Another factor bolstering the growth theme is liquidity, which is likely to remain very loose even if the Fed reduces its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.
And central banks elsewhere are keeping the stimulus taps firmly open.
The European Central Bank has suggested it may cut interest rates further, while the Bank of England warned that markets were being too quick to bet on higher borrowing costs. And this is before you include the Bank of Japan, which stands ready to pump more money into the economy if needed on top of its existing $1.4 trillion program.
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