A few market participants showed up for a shortened trading session Friday, but most need not have bothered.
With many large players taking advantage of the long Thanksgiving holiday, virtually all of the market's activity occurred overseas, where the long bond picked up about 1/4 point.
By the end of the New York session, which finished up at 1 p.m. eastern standard time, the 30-year had firmed a bit more, ending the day 3/8 higher at 7.93%.
The positive note keyed off instability in the Soviet Union and a resulting mini-flight to quality that bolstered prices all along the cruve.
Reports Friday said a financial collapse could be just days away for the Soviet Union, which was said to have only a two-day supply of cash to fund operating expenses. The Soviet parliament is continuing efforts to pass a fourth-quarter budget, amid warnings from key Soviet officials that another right-wing
Treasury Market Yields
Friday Week Month
3-Month Bill 4.46 4.53 4.87
6-Month Bill 4.45 2.67 4.95
1-Year Bill 4.66 4.74 5.00
2-Year Note 5.36 5.47 5.62
3-Year Note 5.73 5.81 5.91
4-Year Note 5.83 5.91 6.05
5-Year Note 6.47 6.55 6.71
7-Year Note 6.94 6.99 7.13
10-Year Note 7.36 7.43 7.46
15-Year Bond 7.70 7.77 7.76
30-Year Bond 7.93 7.97 7.93
Source: Cantor, Fitzgerald/Telerate
coup attempt might be in the works.
Although last week was mostly quiet in the United States, several important indicators this week are expected to stir things up on this side of the Atlantic.
The most important of these will be Friday's employment report for November. Economists say that if it shows enough weakness it may prompt another easing of shortterm credit by the Federal Reserve Board.
Ward McCarthy, a managing director at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in Princeton, N.J., said a weak employment report is likely, given steep declines in consumer confidence reported last week.
Mr. McCarthy said that with consumers feeling pessimistic about their own personal finances, and therefore managing their affairs conservatively, it is difficult for the economy to generate the kind of momentum needed to stimulate job growth.
He predicted November payrolls will rise only about 20,000, with the unemployment rate moving to 6.9% from October's 6.8%. "It's not the kind of number that's going to spark a wellspring of consumer confidence," Mr. McCarthy remarked.
The Federal Open Market Committee meets later this month, and economists say it is difficult to gauge whether an easing will have to wait until then. But most say they would not be surprised to see lower rates before the new year.
Although some analysts have speculated that the long end would regard any additional stimulants as inflationary, Mr. McCarthy said that probably does not apply to another Fed action. Rather, he said, the market is afraid of fiscal stimulants from Congress or the bush administration.
Those fears eased a bit last week when Congress recessed, probably until January. Only committee meetings will take place in the interim, so there is not likely to be any new proposals to scare investors.
The other key indicator this week is Wednesday's third quarter GNP revisions. David Wyss, chief financial economist at DRI/McGraw Hill, said the GNP number will be extremely confusing for the market, because it will be the first time the figure will be calculated using 1987 as a base instead of 1982.
He said traders should avoid reacting to the GNP headlines Wednesday, and instead wait until economists figure out how to analyze the new base.
Joel Naroff, chief economist at First Fidelity Bancorp., agreed the re-basing will create confusion.
"There's just going to be chaos," Mr. Naroff said.
Both of today's indicators -- the National Association of Purchasing Managers Index for November and construction spending figures for October -- are expected to show continuing weakness in the economy, according to a survey of economists by The Bond Buyer.
The NAPM index is expected to come in at 52%, compared to an October figure of 53.5%. Estimates ranged from a low of 51% to a high of 53%.
Construction spending for October is expected to drop 0.3%. That compares to a 0.1% increase in September. Estimates ranged from a low of down 1% to a high of up 1%.
On Friday, the December bond future contracts closed 13/32 higher, at 99 24/32.
In the cash market, the 30-year 8% bond was 3/8 higher, at 100 21/32-100 25/32, to yield 7.93%.
The 7 1/2% 10-year note was up 1/4 at 100 25/32-100 29/32, to yield 7.36%.
The three-year 6% note was up 1/8, at 100 21/32-100 23/32, to yield 5.73%.
In when-issued trading, the 51 1/2% two-year note was up 3/32, at 100 7/32-100 8/32, to yield 5.36%, and the 6 1/2% five-year note was 3/16 higher, at 100 1/32-100 23/32, to yield 6.47%.
Rates on Treasury bills were lower, with the three-month bill down three basis points at 4.36%, the six-month bill off four basis points at 4.40%, and the year bill also four basis points lower at 4.46%.
In other news, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that the federal funds rate averaged 4.68% for the week ended Wednesday, down from the previous week's 4.89%.