A repeat speech from
Federal Reserve Chairman
Alan Greenspan today didn't generate a repeat rally in Treasuries.
When Greenspan delivered his semiannual speech before the House of Representatives last week, hints of more rate cuts and nonchalance about inflation sparked a hot-headed rally in Treasury prices. Today the speech was repeated before the Senate, but the question-and-answer period focused on commodity prices, giving bond investors little reason to celebrate or despair.
"Everybody was waiting for Greenspan, but since it was a repeat they also didn't expect much," said John Canavan, a Treasury market analyst at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates.
The 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged at 97 25/32, putting its yield at 5.527%. The 10-year benchmark note was unchanged at 99 6/32, yielding 5.107%. And the two-year treasury note was unchanged at 99 27/32, yielding 3.950%. Treasury prices and equities often move in opposite directions -- especially when there is little else to drive trading -- as investors seek safety from more volatile holdings like stocks. Treasury prices and yields also move in opposite directions.
With a fat list of companies reporting earnings, and no important economic data on tap, investors were keeping their eyes on the equities market. Prices initially charged higher as equities slipped on profit concerns. But the early rally didn't last.
"They've got an eye on equity market and they're in a more consolidative mood," Canavan said.
Traders said there could be some "curve trades" tomorrow on a monthly two-year note auction and Treasury buyback. Bids for the auction, at which $11 billion of securities will be sold, will be accepted at 1 p.m. The details of the buyback will be announced at 9 a.m.
Curve trades tend to concentrate selling in one end of the market, which can alter the yield curve, or the spread between two different securities, such as the two-year note and the 30-year bond. The government sale of two-year notes would create additional supply on the short end, resulting in increased selling.
Otherwise, the long end of the bond market isn't likely to rally soon unless equities seriously decline, something that traders aren't anticipating. Larry Berman, fixed-income strategist at CIBC World Markets, expects yields on the 30-year bond to rise to as much as 6% later this year or next year, which would bring prices on the long end down further.
In the meantime, bond investors are also looking ahead to Thursday's second-quarter
employment cost index and Friday's
gross domestic product data.