Treasuries advance for the second day on EU concerns, US stocks end mixed

(April 16th, 2012) Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries stayed below the 2-percent mark for the second day as risk appetite diminished on mounting speculations the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is deepening.

Treasuries advanced for the second day, pushing yields down to the lowest level in five weeks as Spanish bond yields reached a four-month high before this week’s debt auction. A separate report showing manufacturing activity in the New York region expanding at the slowest rate in five months in April supported the Treasury further. US ten-year yields dropped 0.01 percent, or 1 basis point, to 1.97 percent, after dropping seven basis points on Friday.

The iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shed 0.17 point, or 0.15 percent, for the day while the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) remained unchanged over Friday’s close.

US stocks closed mixed Monday with better-than-estimated retail sales and corporate earnings boosting sentiments otherwise weighed down by renewed worries on Europe. Also heavy selling in the tech sector offset a rebound in blue-chip stocks, dragging down the major indices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) zoomed 71.82 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,921.41, with Travelers Co (TRV) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) advancing the most. Ahead of the opening bell, the Commerce Department announced retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March, indicating consumers are supporting the economic recovery.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) shed 0.69 point, or 0.1 percent, to end at 1369.57, with tech stocks retreating the most, slipping 1.2 percent, followed by consumer discretionary stocks. Only utilities and financials advanced in the 10-sector index.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) extended its losing streak for the fifth straight day, dropping 4.2 percent to $580.13. Apple shares are down 8.8 percent from last Monday while search engine giant Google lost 3 percent, extending losses for the second day.

The combined losses of Apple and Google drove the NASDAQ Composite (COMP) down 22.93 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2988.40, making it the worst performing major index Monday.

For every two stocks declining, three advanced on the NYSE.

Oil prices for May delivery rose 10 cents to close at $102.93 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery dropped $10.40 to $1,648.70 an ounce.


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