Treasuries register biggest weekly decline in eight months, stocks end week mixed

(March 16th, 2012) 10-year Treasuries posted their biggest weekly decline in eight months as a report showed inflation has climbed in Feb. fueling concerns of further price increases as the recovery gains momentum. Major economic indicators for the week remained robust as investors remained positive about the economy. Data released by the Federal Reserve showed industrial production remained unchanged in Feb. while an increase of 0.5 percent was expected, and was termed mildly disappointing.

10-year Treasury yields rose 1 basis point to end the week at 2.29 percent, up from about 2 percent at the start of the week, as the recovery showed signs of acceleration. As investors sought protection against rising prices, the spread between 10-year notes and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities widened to 2.41 percent, the most since Aug. 2011.
The iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) rose 0.22 point, or 0.19 percent, on the day, while the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) fell 0.01 points, or 0.01 percent.

US stocks mostly retreated Friday, limiting weekly gains as an index of consumer confidence dropped unexpectedly in Mar. and a slew of options expired on the last trading day of the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) shed 20.14 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 13,232.62, its first decline in seven sessions after the longest winning streak since Feb. 2011. However, Dow remained up 2.4 percent for the week.

Apple shares (AAPL) rose marginally as the company launched its new iPad Friday. United Parcel Service (UPS) shares were down 0.7 percent after it announced it was engaged in talks to acquire its Dutch rival TNT Express. Renesola (SOL) surged 14.2 percent after reporting a fourth-quarter loss of 21 cents per share against analysts’ expectation of 30 cents a share.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) rose 1.57 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1404.17 with the energy sector leading the day’s gains and utilities retreating the most among its 10-sector index.

NASDAQ Composite (COMP) lost 1.11 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 3055.26, though rising 2.4 percent for the week.
For every seven stocks rising, eight stock declined on the NYSE.

Crude prices advanced with oil prices for April delivery gaining $1.95 to close at $107.06 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery fell $3.71 to end the week at $1,655.80 an ounce.

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