Markets & Finance

Treasuries End Higher

Early stock losses on back of another wave of telecoms layoffs were reversed by midday, contributing to leveraged profit-taking on bonds after setting fresh contract highs. The curve first steepened sharply as two-year yields dipped below 2.7% and bond yields consolidated around 5.3%, but then gave much of this back as the "fright" bid waned.

Greyhound bus lines halted all service nationwide after an attack on a driver led to a crash, but transport officials soon ruled out terrorism -- the news added to early anxiety.

But data proved more stock-friendly. Non-manufacturing NAPM gained in September, off-setting a 1.37 plunge in the Chicago Fed's less followed national activity index. The December bond set fresh contract highs of 107-11, but only hung on to a 5/32 gain to 106-23 in the end. The two-year note and 30-year bond yield gap widened to +263 basis points before sliding to +256 basis points by the close.

Cisco's CEO Chambers later expressed "comfort" with Q1 estimates and stocks jumped 2-6%. President Bush launched a $60-75 billion stimulus package, but not at expense of higher yields. The dollar shot up amid talk of a military strike launch that also kept trade lively.

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