Treasuries Finish Stronger

Treasuries finished moderately higher, thanks to soft retail sales data and lingering geopolitical concerns

Treasuries extended their winning streak to two days this week, closing still higher following a BBC report that U.N. Weapons Inspector Blix found some sort of "smoking gun" material in Iraq, though it was not clear this was of the mass destruction variety. There was also talk of inspectors being expelled from Iraq, later denied. This helped prices shrug off a 1.2% headline return on retail sales and back revisions higher. The data disappointed stocks and the dollar initially by coming in dead-on the market median, due nearly entirely to an expected year-end surge in incentive-driven auto sales, which left the number vulnerable ahead.

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