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Treasurys steady ahead of refunding auction

February 03, 2010 | "CNNMoney"

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Treasurys were little changed Tuesday, as investors geared up for Wednesday's supply announcement and Friday's jobs data.

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note was up 4/32 to 97-27/32, pushing the yield down to 3.63% from 3.66% late Monday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond gained 3/32 to 97-1/32 and its yield was 4.55%. The 2-year note was flat at 100-1/32 and yielded 0.85%.The 5-year note rose 3/32 to 99-16/32, and yielded 2.35%.

What's driving prices: The Treasury Department is expected to announce Wednesday the amount of Treasurys it will sell in next week's refunding auction.

Auctions have been met with "stellar" demand thus far, according to Cabot Money Management portfolio manger Bill Larkin. But he says investors doubt that this reception will be sustainable in the long term.

Investors are also cautious ahead of the Labor Department's January jobs report due Friday. Analysts polled by Briefing.com expect nonfarm payrolls to improve slightly by gaining 13,000 jobs.

Last month, the report showed a worse-than-expected drop of 85,000 jobs in December.

President Obama's $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 revealed Monday curbed gains in Treasury prices. The budget aims to continue government spending while reducing the nation's debt by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

What analysts are saying: "We've been getting some stability in the economic data, but we have a big number coming down the pipeline," Larkin said. "Treasurys will be strong ahead of the unemployment data that comes out at the end of the week."

By Hibah Yousuf

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