Free-Fall in Bonds Continues

Strong economic data is pressuring the Treasury market.
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There's strength in numbers -- economic numbers -- and that's got the bond market down again this morning.

Today's

durable goods

and

existing home sales

reports as well as

initial jobless claims

are evidence of continued strength in the U.S. economy, and the entire yield curve is down once again. The good news is this: The U.S. only has two bodies of Congress, so

Federal Reserve

head

Alan Greenspan

isn't speaking to anyone else this morning.

Lately the 30-year Treasury bond was down 28/32 to trade at 95 11/32, as the yield rose to 5.561%.

The March bond contract was also lower, lately down 25/32 to trade at 121 4/32. Tom Rogers, senior capital markets analyst at

Pegasus Econometric Group

, said, "Existing home sales were fantastic and durable goods orders were good. People have it in the back of their mind that the Fed is going to take back part of the ease."

New orders for durable goods increased by 3.9% in January, compared to a revised 3.4% increase in December. A 145% increase in civilian aircraft orders boosted the figures, but since previous months were revised upward, it indicates that the previous months' gains have been maintained. Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.4%, in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, the

Labor Department

reported that

initial jobless claims

for the week ended Feb. 20 decreased to 293,000 from a revised 298,000 the previous week. The four-week moving average fell from a revised 294,500 to 292,500, a record low.

Existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.07 million a year for January, according to the

National Association of Realtors

. This is a new record, besting December's adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million.

With tomorrow's

Chicago's purchasing managers index

, the national index next week, and the

employment report

next Friday, the economic data isn't going to help this market.