Markets & Finance

Bonds Rally in Early Trading

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchS&P MARKETSCOPE: Bonds, which plunged Wednesday, were sharply higher in electronic trading Thursday before economic data that expected to be weak and put pressure on the Fed to cut rates at the Jan. 29/30 meeting. So far, traders ignoring WSJ report that foreign investment in U.S. companies could take easing pressure of the Fed.

The 2-year Treasury was up 02/32 to 99-31/32 for yield of 3.271%, 10-year notes were up 16/32 to 100-09/32 for yield of 4.220%, and the 30-year bond was up 27/32 to 106-01/32 for a yield of 4.625%.

Awaiting reports on Nov. Durable Goods Orders, which Bank of Scotland sees up 2.5% after falling 0.2% in Oct.; Initial Jobless Claims, which BOS sees down 6,000 to 340,000; Conference Board's Dec. Consumer Confidence index, which BOS sees down to 86.5 from 87.3 in Nov. Expect slow trading with 3 trading days left in 2007 and most averages slightly higher for the year. WSJ reports the up-to-$6.2 billion Singapore government investment fund Temasek Holdings and a U.S. mutual-fund company said it would pay for a stake in Merrill Lynch -- have eased worries about U.S. financial firms' capital condition.

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