Treasuries Finish Higher

Treasuries got a boost amid ongoing talk of an intermeeting rate cut, a heightened terror alert, mad cow, and the drop in stocks

Back to the races again. A stampede into Treasuries Tuesday ahead of Fed Chairman Greenspan's speech tomorrow was sparked by the elevated terror alert, resurfaced intermeeting Fed cut rumors, a mad cow in Alberta, and a retreat on Wall Street. The risk-sensitive front-end of the curve led the move initially, but soon the belly and back-end took over as momentum picked in the afternoon.

Treasuries found a floor early in the session, amid light curve flattening trades and calendar roll activity on options. A steady flood of corporate issuance continued to wash through, but was readily absorbed as dealers ran for cover. After the U.S. and Britain temporarily shut their Saudi embassies, the Department of Homeland Security raised the nation's terror alert to orange (high) based on increased intelligence chatter. Canadian officials also announced the first case of "mad cow" disease in Alberta and the U.S. banned beef imports.

The December bond closed up 1-13/32 at 120-15, while the 2-year note and 30-year bond spread narrowed 4 basis points +309 basis points. With the 2-year yield now matching the 1.25% Fed funds rate, the futures now fully price a quarter point cut in June and risk of an intermeeting move. Gold hit 3-month highs of $370/oz.

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