Treasurys edge higher

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Treasury prices rose Thursday as concerns about Greece kept demand for U.S. debt strong.

What prices are doing: Long-term securities, including the 10-year and 30-year, fell Thursday while shorter term notes rose.

10yearyield.png
Click the chart for the latest prices and yields.

The benchmark 10-year note was up 7/32 to 98-10/32, pushing the yield down to 3.84%. The 30-year bond rose 8/32 to 98-18/32, and its yield fell to 4.71%.

Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 2-year note edged up 3/32 to 99-31/32 with a 1% yield. The 5-year note rose 8/32 to 99-25/32 with a yield of 2.6%.

Earlier Thursday, prices were mixed as generally upbeat news from company earnings and economic reports put slight pressure on long-term U.S. debt.

What's moving the market: Economic releases and earnings results that beat Wall Street's expectations are painting a rosier picture of an economic recovery this week, but on Thursday, this was overshadowed by lingering concerns about whether the proposed aid package for Greece will be enough to help the debt-ridden country.

"The issue of Greece and the rest of the eurozone helps to keep the bid in Treasurys strong and every day the threat of default hangs around, the less confident the market is on any solution short of a full bailout," Kevin Giddis, president of fixed-income for Morgan Keegan, said in a statement to investors Thursday.

U.S. debt is considered a low-risk investment during times of economic uncertainty because it's backed by the government. So when investors anticipate long-term improvement in the economy, they may opt for higher yielding stocks in lieu of long-term government securities like the 10-year note or 30-year bond.

The "rosier" picture is being painted this week by strong earnings reports from major companies and better-than-expected retail sales numbers, which led to a rally in the stock market in the previous session. U.S. stocks closed at the highest levels in more than a year and a-half on Wednesday and held on to gains Wednesday.

A weekly jobless claims count came in worse-than-expected on Thursday, but this was countered by a strong regional manufacturing report and news from the day before including slightly rising consumer prices, which came in in line with predictions, and the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which said economic activity expanded "somewhat" in 11 of the central bank's 12 districts.

What analysts are saying: The Treasury market is playing a "tug-of-war game between those that believe the economic recovery is stronger and those that believe global financial unrest will keep investors looking for safer investments," said Giddis.

While stronger financial reports in the U.S. lend credence to the "we have turned the corner" statements by economists, the possibility of Greece's default on its sovereign debt helps keep demand for U.S. Treasurys strong, Giddis said.  To top of page

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