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Markets & Finance

Treasuries Finish Mixed

Treasuries squandered an early lead, barely holding on to positive territory after declining over the bulk of the session as stocks regathered upside momentum. Early overseas weakness in stocks and news of Fed Chairman Greenspan's medical procedure Tuesday initially helped send Treasury prices sharply higher, but a healthy prognosis on both fronts quickly removed the fear bid.

Supply concerns remained just beneath the surface, though the perverse curve steepened back out a shade ahead of Wednesday's $27 billion 2-year auction and Wal-Mart Stores managed to price a $1.5 billion 4.55% 10-year offering. Data was limited to weekly retail sales figures, though BTM (+1.9%) and Redbook (+4.6%) both posted healthy gains.

Stocks reversed course on false rumors that Saddam was captured in Iraq, but managed to extend their gains, with the Nasdaq clearing strong resistance at 1430 and the S&P 500 vaulting 900. A biotoxin scare in Tacoma, Wash., was cleared up and provided little impediment to stocks.

The June bond closed 1/32 in the red at 112-02, nearer the low end of 112-25 to the 111-26 range. The 2-year and 30-year spread finished +2 basis points wider at +323 basis points. San Francisco Fed's Parry spied a second half recovery, but said the Fed had room to cut rates.

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