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Treasuries Fall on Better Retail Sales

The unlucky streak for Treasuries continued Tuesday in higher volumes, with losses inflicted by primarily by an above-median April retail sales report and secondarily by the ongoing enthusiasm on Wall Street for consumers' staying power. Retail sales posted a 1.2% gain and ex-autos proved resilient at +1.0%, well above median forecasts of a 0.5% rebound from an unrevised +0.1% in March.

Much like stocks Monday, the report set the bearish tone (especially at the front-end) and prompted sharp initial curve flattening on the two-year note and 30-year bond gap by seven basis points to +236 basis points.

A rush of corporate and agency issuance in anticipation of higher yields also burdened the curve with deals of a variety of maturies. Swap spreads narrowed as hedging activity picked up for these deals. In outright activity there were some NOB purchases (10-year notes for bonds) against the grain of the flattener and a variety of European banks selling in the belly of the curve.

In options trade, calendar roll activity appeared the main driver. Two-year yields hit one-month highs of 3.4% and the June bond shed nearly a point to 100-5/32.

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