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Treasuries Extend Gains

Treasuries continued to have stocks on their side Tuesday, with European equities setting the bearish pace for a change after creative accounting allegations took their toll on embattled French media giant Vivendi. Aside from stocks, a light data offering of mixed weekly retail sales, slightly higher Challenger layoffs and modestly better auto and truck sales dotted the session.

Prices particularly at the front-end built on their recent safety bid. With the holiday looming Thursday and domestic terrorists infiltrating the accounting system, there was very little incentive to go short. The September bond closed 25/32 higher at 103-24, while the cash bond lagged with a 18/32 gain to 99-00 after posting late gains Monday on word that auto makers were relying to 0% financing again to make sales.

The September bond stopped just shy of 103-28, the 50% retrace area of its June 26 high of 105-16. The two-year note and 30-year bond spread widened three basis points to +268 basis points. After benefitting from the Vivendi scandal and pre-holiday short-covering, the dollar fell back. The CRB index hit fresh one-year highs of 211.99, as commodities continued to price the recovery that eludes stocks.

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