Treasuries hit two-week high on European fears, US stocks end mixed

US Treasuries rose as investors rushed to seek refuge in safe-haven assets driving yields to a two-week low as European debt worries returned to haunt the markets.

Treasuries marched higher as demand at the auction of $29 billion seven-year Treasuries was the strongest since August. Foreign central banks scooped up US debt as a Standard & Poor’s official said yesterday that Greece may require further debt restructuring.

Yields on Ten-year benchmark securities dropped 0.05 percentage points, or 5 basis points, to 2.15 percent, the lowest since March 14. Treasuries have lost 1.2 percent this quarter, their biggest decline in more than a year. Yield on current seven-year notes dropped 0.04 percentage points to 1.54 percent.

The iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) added 0.85 points, or 0.75 percent, for the day, while the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) gained 0.18 points, or 0.22 percent over Wednesday’s close.

US stocks end mixed Thursday with the Dow staging a late-session comeback to break a two-session losing streak. Sentiments were negative as a raft of weak economic numbers, including a higher-than-expected jobless claim, failed to inspire investors, driving both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ lower for the second straight day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) climbed 19.61 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,145.82, after drifting lower in early trade. Financial shares were the worst hit with Bank of America (BAC) and American Express (AXP) losing 2.3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (AA) topped the gainers list, adding 2 percent on the day, while heavy equipment maker Caterpillar (CAT) rose 1.7 percent.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) shed 2.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1403.28, still up 0.4 percent on the week. The index has added more than 11 percent this year. Linux operating systems distributor Red hat Inc (RHT) jumped 20 percent after Q4 results beat street expectations and was the day’s top gainer. Consumer-electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) sank 7 percent after 2012 revenue estimates fell short of expectations.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite (COMP) lost 9.60 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 3095.36, paring weekly gains to 0.9 percent.

Oil futures for May delivery dropped $2.63 to close at $102.78 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery rose $2.20 to $1,660.40 an ounce.

 

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