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The short answer to your questions is "No, not quite yet" for reasons both technical and fundamental that I don't want to grind thorough, but, "Yes", as sure as the sun will rise in the eastern sky tomorrow morning, the Fed will hike interest rates in the future, rather than leave them at their current historic lows, and a new cycle will begin from our present trough and shorting will become appropriate, all the while keeping in mind that the market controls the long end and the Fed the short end, not that the two aren't related, plus a lot of supply factors, etc., etc.

But, in the meanwhile, pull a chart for the 30-year bond [ticker TYX--X, if you're using a data service like TC2000, which plots yield rather than price], and start watching the action and looking for the factors that seem to driving yields and prices. When you have a good sense of the rhythms, then start thinking about how to position yourself to take advantage of the rhythms, keeping in mind that I'm not taking about the intraday moves that the professional traders are capturing, but the intermediate time frame moves that the average retail investor should be able to see on weekly charts and successfully time entries and exits with a moving average, a relative strength indicator, etc.

Again, I want to stress to anyone reading this post that I'm NOT offering investment advice, merely pointing to tools and techniques that *might* be of interest to fixed-income investors who are questioning the wisdom of depending on the buy-and-hold approach to preserve capital, much less appreciate it. And for some specifics, check out the current issue of Futures Magazine, which has several articles that deal with trends vs mean regression and timing/trading them that can be extrapolated to FI investing.

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