Long-term interest rates rose on Thursday, as rising commodity prices and some uneasiness about today's employment report offset news ordinarily favorable for Treasuries.
The yield on the 30-year bond rose to 6.69% from 6.67%. Ten-year notes yielded 5.78%, up from 5.77%. And two-year notes were unchanged at 3.99%.
But short-term rates fell. The bond-equivalent yield on three-month bills dropped to 3.04% from 3.06%. Federal funds were quoted at 3.18%, down from 3.50%.
Rumors Rattle Nerves
The short end had some early jitters on rumors that the Federal Reserve Board had called an "emergency" meeting for today. The central bank quickly issued a statement that it was simply holding its regular Monday meeting a day early because of the July 4 holiday.
On the long end, "there was some |CRB-itis' in the market," said Alan Levenson, money market economist for UBS Securities.
He was referring to market reaction to a big increase in the Commodity Research Bureau's index, which measures 21 futures prices. The index rose 2.61 points, or 1.3%, to 209.73. A $8.80-an-ounce increase in the price of gold - a major barometer of inflation - helped push up the CRB index.
But higher commodity prices were the only indication of economic strength on Thursday.
Manufacturing Index Down
The National Association of Purchasing Management's index of manufacturing activity registered a weaker-than-expected 48.3 last month. A reading below 50 indicates a slowdown in manufacturing. In May, the index was 51.1.
Another positive factor for bonds was Germany's decision to cut interest rates today. The Bundesbank lowered the discount rate by half a point to 6.75% and the Lombard rate by a quarter point to 8.25%.
Stocks were down across the board. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 5.54 Points to 3,510.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 1.51 to 449.02. The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.37 to 703.88.
The dollar rose to 107.33 yen but fell to 1.6943 German marks.