(April 30th, 2012) Treasuries headed for their biggest monthly gain since Sep as concerns over US economic growth and a worsening sovereign debt situation in Spain spurred demand for safe-haven US debts.
The 10-year benchmark Treasury advanced for the third day as business activity in April expanded at the slowest pace since Nov 2009 and consumer-spending reading for March came in softer than forecast. US ten-year yield dropped 0.01 percentage points, or 1 basis point, to settle at 1.92 percent for April, declining from 2.21 percent at the end of March.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc report showed business-activity reading dropped to 56.2 in April, lower than analysts’ estimates. A Commerce Department figure showed household purchases increased at a slow rate of 0.3 percent after growing at 0.9 percent in March.
The iShares Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) added 3 cents, up 0.03 percent, to close at $117.32 for April, while the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) gained 5 cents, or 0.06 percent to close at $83.92 in April.
US stocks settled mostly lower Monday, closing April weaker as weak US economic data dominated the day’s headlines. This is the first monthly decline in 2012 as a soft reading of the Chicago area business-activity weighed on the market though the Dow managed to extend its winning streak for the seventh straight months, its longest run since Jan 2007.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) sank 14.68 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,213.63, its first decline after a four-session winning run. The Dow closed near flat in April, closing 0.01 percent higher. The breadth within the blue-chip index was fairly even with 15 stocks gaining, 14 losing and 3M (MMM) finishing flat. Cisco (CSCO), Kraft Foods (KFT) and AT&T (T) were the day’s top gainers. Bank of America (BAC), Caterpillar (CAT) and General Electric (GE) were the day’s top losers.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) shed 5.45 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1397.91 with telecommunications advancing the most and the industrial sector fronting the losses. S&P closed 0.8 percent lower for the month after four consecutive wins.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP) tumbled 22.84 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 3046.36 after Apple Inc (AAPL) lost 3 percent following a weekend report in the New York Times that questioned the company’s taxpaying practices.
For every two stocks rising, nearly three tumbled on the NYSE.
Oil futures for June delivery dropped 6 cents to close at $104.87 a barrel.
Gold futures for June delivery slipped 60 cents to $1,664.20 an ounce.