So-called defensive industries, such as health care, consumer staples and utilities, which have stable earnings and dividends, have led the market rally this year. Investors have been seeking out stocks that give them similar characteristics to debt investments after a powerful rally in bonds over the last year pushed yields sharply lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has traded below 2 percent for most of the last year.The 10-year yield fell to 1.76 percent Thursday from 1.81 percent a day earlier, within a fraction of its lowest level of the year. The note's yield has declined over the last month as demand for less risky assets increased following the financial crisis in Cyprus and signs of a slowdown in the U.S. The yield was as high as 2.06 percent on March 11.
Stocks Edge Higher After Wednesday's Drop
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