This bounce was expected. But will it hold?
The 30-year Treasury bond was markedly higher after a three-day selloff that pushed bond yields back to their late August levels. End-of-the-month buying, some good nuggets of info in the
gross domestic product
report, and some "buying the dip" has pushed the market up this morning.
Lately the long bond was up 1 13/32 to trade at 95 19/32, as the yield declined to 5.55%. The March futures contract was being supported, and was lately up 29/32 to trade at 121 23/32.
"I think we hold in today," said Ken Logan, managing analyst at
Thomson Global Markets
. "But the market is still very defensive and skeptical."
GDP grew at a rate of 6.1% in the fourth quarter, compared to a 5.6% preliminary figure reported last month. The upward revision was expected, as a result of a significant decline in the
, reported last Friday. What was good for the market, however, were the declines in the implicit price deflator and the chain-weighted price index. Both these measures declined to 0.7% for the fourth quarter, compared to the preliminary 0.8% readings.
Chicago's purchasing managers index
increased to 52.9 for the month of February. A good precursor to the
national purchasing managers index
(to be released Monday), this indicator nevertheless tends to wind up a few points higher than the NAPM survey.
"Next week is a big week," Logan said. "If the data is strong, we'll make one more leg down in this move before the market feels comfortable with owning paper."
Month-end duration extension is also responsible for some of today's interest. Because the Treasury sold five-, 10- and 30-year bonds at the quarterly refunding this month, the overall duration of the benchmark indices (most notably
) are increased to reflect the presence of these new bonds. This happens at the end of every month -- but the changes are more significant during quarterly refunding months. Money managers that track this index sell shorter-dated bonds and buy longer-dated bonds at the end of the month to keep up with these benchmarks.