Bonds Higher on Weak Data

A surprisingly large drop in new home sales in February helped fuel gains

MARKETSCOPE : Treasury prices were higher Friday morning, as investors weighed news about home sales and durable goods.

The 10-year Treasury notes climbed 17/32 on the day to 98-23/32 for yield of 4.669%, while the 30-year bonds gained 1-04/32 to 97-03/32 for yield of 4.682%.

Bonds strengthened on a report new homesales plunged a more than expected 10.5% to a 1,080,000 annual pace in February from 1,207,000 in January, which was revised from 1,233,000.

Maeanwhile, a 2.6% headline surge in durable goods orders for February was neutralized by a 1.3% drop in ex-transportation orders and a 2.3% fall on non-defense capital orders (ex-defense), which painted a weaker picture than the headline data.

Investors also positioned themselves ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting next week. The Fed statement scheduled for release after Tuesday's meeting might give some clues about what the new Chairman Bernanke is thinking.

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