Treasuries fall for the first time in a week, US stocks end mixed

(April 24th, 2012) The benchmark 10-year Treasuries retreated for the first time in a week ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day FOMC meeting.

The yield on 10-year benchmark notes rose 0.03 percentage points, or 3 basis points, to 1.97 percent. Two-year securities drew a yield of 0.270 percent as investors continued to seek safe-haven assets in the short-term. Bid to cover ratio was reported at 3.76, the highest since Sep, pushing yields down from the estimated 0.278 percent.

The Vanguard Total Bond Fund (BND) lost 0.10 point, or 0.12 percent, for the day, while the iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) shed 0.83 point, or 0.70 percent.

Data on the economic front was disappointing overall. The Feb S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index reading sank 3.5 percent, denoting a new post-bubble low. March Consumer Confidence Index fell to 69.2 in April from 70.2 in the prior month. According to US Census, new home sales slipped 7.1 percent in March to an annual rate of 328,000, though the reading beat economists’ estimate of 318,000.

US stocks finished mixed Tuesday with the Dow and S&P 500 holding onto gains as investors embraced corporate America’s encouraging Q1 results, while Netflix’s weak outlook weighed down the tech-heavy NASDAQ and Apple Inc witnessed selling pressure ahead of its quarterly results after close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surged 74.39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 13,001.56, with telecom operator AT&T Inc (T) jumping more than 3.5 percent after topping Wall Street expectations. The maker of Post-it Notes and Dow Jones component, 3M Co (MMM), beat analysts’ Q1 profit estimates on the back of strong domestic demand.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) rose 5.03 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1371.97 with the telecom sector advancing the most and technology lagging among the 10-sector index. Hershey (HSY) and Baker Hughes (BHI) were the day’s top gainers with the former zooming to a record seven-year high.

The NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) slipped 8.85 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 2961.60 after online video-streaming provider Netflix tumbled 14 percent on Q1 results. Also iPad maker Apple (AAPL) dropped 2 percent, its 10th down session in eleven days, ahead of its results after the close.

For every stock declining, more than two gained on the NYSE.

Oil prices for June delivery rose marginally by 44 cents to close at $103.55 a barrel.

Gold futures for June bounced back to end $11.20 higher at $1,643.80 an ounce.


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