The markets saw more curve steepening Monday in miserly conditions ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m. EST.
On the front end, defensive trade benefited from trading at "zero" near-term growth -- a scenario alluded to by Federal Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan -- but faded on the long end on the risk that Greenspan is successful. Eurodollar notes and bills gained and two-year notes held their ground, while the March bond tripped a couple tiers of stops from 102-21 and again at Friday's low of 102-16. After the buyers' strike the March bond found some traction with a bleak outlook for January consumer confidence, to be released Tuesday, which supported the market at the close.
Equities were of two minds following cautious guidance from Cisco (CSCO) on earnings variability near-term, DaimlerChrysler's (DCX) 26,000 job layoffs and record Internet infrastructure layoffs reported by Challenger. Still, the Nasdaq built on gains above its 50-day moving average near 2700. The corporate calendar continued to build, as the GE Capital unit of General Electric (GE) priced and Nortel (NT) pondered a $1 billion five-year deal. The Treasury estimated a $197 billion Q2 debt paydown.