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Bond Prices Decline

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBonds were lower in price Thursday morning after a report showed the U.S. trade deficit widened to $60.0 billion in May from $58.7 billion in April, in line with market estimates.. Exports rose $2.9 billion (2.2%), while imports were up $4.2 billion (also 2.2%). Action Economics reports that the market's focus remains squarely on subprime and credit issues amid ongoing uncertainty over the potential for forced selling after the ratings downgrades on mortgage backed debt. A report that foreclosures climbed 87% in June versus the year ago figure (according to RealtyTrac) added to investor uneasiness, though June foreclosures were 7% below those in May (which were a 30 month high). Meanwhile, the ABX BBB- 07-01 index, the main indicator of subprime risks, opened near record lows at 48 -1/2, after closing Wednesday slightly higher at 48.64.

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