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Markets & Finance

Treasuries Finish in the Red

The shortened session was stuffed with data and the U.S. economic outlook continued to look sweeter than a candied yam. Durables gained 3.3%, personal income rose 0.4% (spending was flat), initial claims dropped 11,000 to 351,000, Chicago PMI catapulted to 64.1 from 55.0 and final U. Michigan sentiment nudged up 0.2 to 93.7.

The only blight on the economic feast was new-home sales, which sank 3.5% to a 1.105 million unit pace, cooling off from overcooked levels. Treasuries began the session underwater, burdened by expectations from the data and a stock rally overseas, but initially the long-end rallied back in anticipation of index duration extensions on Friday.

The short-end underperformed into the $26 billion 2-year auction, which met implied fears of a poor sale. Foreign central bank demand was only 33.0%, vs. 45% of late, though these national institutions have been good buyers in the belly of late. The Fed's Beige Book economic survey anointed the recovery with the title of a "broadly based expansion."

There was a little dollar and stock turmoil after a New York subway odor incident was misdiagnosed as a terror attempt. The December bond closed down 18/32 at 110-07, while the 2-year note and 30-year bond spread narrowed 4 basis points to +315 basis points.

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