Bonds rise as earnings keep investors guessing

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Thursday as stocks looked set to open lower in a week packed with corporate earnings from a dismal first quarter.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 9:03 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:34 AM

Equity markets were nervous about a slew of results from companies including big financial firms like Citigroup, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. The market was also perturbed by a report that the U.S. Treasury has directed General Motors to prepare for a bankruptcy filing.

The prospect of further purchases of Treasuries by the Federal Reserve, part of its effort to keep down longer-term interest rates in support of housing, was also offering support to bonds.

“We do have the Fed coming into buy some Treasuries later on,” said Ralph Manigat, senior bond strategist at 4Cast Ltd.

Traders were wondering just how much the central bank would pony up, but it was hard to tell since previous purchases had ranged from $2.5 billion to nearly $7.5 billion.

In the meantime, benchmark 10-year notes US10YTRR rose 8/32 and were offering a yield of 2.90 percent, down two basis points. S&P futures were off about 0.77 percent, a further boon to bonds.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that the Treasury Department is readying General Motors to lay the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing by June 1.

The report offered a stark reminder of the grim economic backdrop that has seen job losses mount in recent months, thereby heightening economic insecurity and inhibiting spending.

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