Treasuries Finish Higher
Another chapter in the lengthening saga of equity weakness was written Monday, with a heavy day in Europe followed by only a momentary reprieve in the U.S., then another slump. Combined with a convexity bid as 10-year yields sank below 4.5% and two-year yields dipped below 2.40%, Treasury prices surged. The curve stayed steep, though the two-year note and 30-year bond spread stopped shy of +300 basis points.
The futures had some catching up to do with cash from after-hours gains on Friday, with the September bond closing up a point at 106-04 (after setting a 9-month high of 106-13) and the cash bond gaining less than half a point at 101-05. The main stock indexes fed the bear another 2.5-3.0% after briefly rising into the green in the late morning.
President Bush made another half effort to instill some confidence and draw a bid back into the market, but the bears were uncooperative again. On the options front, mostly bullish call and volume strategies were deployed, compounding gains in the five-year and 10-year maturities. Crude oil tumbled on talk Nigeria might leave OPEC (denied) and overproduction by Venezuela, but this was off-set by grain gains in the CRB.
The dollar recovered modestly.