US Treasury prices were chopped around at higher levels early Friday before giving up the bulk of gains as stocks staged a comeback, to settle little-changed. The 2-year remained the leader while the long bond lagged for much of trade.
The market was initially bid on the latest tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the US, and buoyed further as the April consumer price index (CPI) missed expectations on both the headline and core inputs. Prices broke down as stocks found a bottom and rebounded.
Meetings between US and China officials ended with no new news, just repeated assurances that the talks had been “constructive,” with the Chinese delegates departing on reportedly good terms, after just a few hours.
The CPI report showed a 0.3% increase against the 0.4% expected while the core, ex-food and energy, input rose 0.1% versus 0.2%.
The 30-year yield settled near 2.875% from a 2.85% low, 2.88% high, 2.881% Thursday, and 2.926% Friday, May 3. The 10-year yield went out near 2.455% against a 2.427% low, 2.461% high, 2.457% Thursday, and 2.53% last Friday. The 5-year yield settled near 2.247% from a 2.22% low, 2.256% high, a 2.253% close, and 2.33% a week ago. The 2-year yield went out near 2.25% versus a 2.229% low, 2.262% high, 2.268% Thursday, and 2.339% May 3.
The curve trade steepened earlier with the 2- and 10-year yield differential near 20.5 from 18.8 Thursday, while the 5- and 30-year yield spread tempered earlier steepening to settle unchanged near 62.8.
CME Group fed fund futures gave up boosting the chance of a minimum 25 basis point rate cut by the December Federal Reserve policy meeting to settle near 59.1% against 59.4% Thursday and 47.4% May 3.
Federal Reserve officials made the rounds, but offered little news with Atlanta President Raphael Bostic noting that if tariffs remained high for a prolonged period the Fed may consider cutting rates. New York’s John Williams was sanguine on the low inflation situation and repeated his recent refrain that both the economy and policy are in good places.
Regarding the latest on China talks,Lindsey M. Piegza, Stifel chief economist wrote that on the latest tariff that “Beijing immediately responded, expressing ‘deep regret’ over the development” with plans to “take necessary countermeasures.” She noted that at “the same time, however, officials said they hoped” the US would meet China halfway, and work “to resolve existing issues through cooperation and consultation.” Piegza noted this suggested “a lingering desire to potentially reach a deal despite the recent setback.”
On tariffs, Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Josh Brown pointed out that “Either your iPhone goes up $160 in price or Apple eats the cost and slashes 24% off its earnings per share (source: Katy Huberty, MS).” He added that “that’s just one of millions of products Americans consume and US companies produce.”
Monday’s calendar is quiet with no scheduled data.
The Treasury will auction $39 billion 3- and $36 billion 6-month bills at 11:30 am ET.
Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren will speak at a local “Perspectives on Fed Policymaking” conference at 9:05 am followed by Vice Chair Richard Clarida at 9:10 am.