Dismal jobs report pushes up Treasury prices

Published April 6, 2012 4:27PM (EDT)

Treasury prices shot higher Friday after a weak jobs report.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.06 percent after the Labor Department released its monthly employment survey. The yield was 2.18 percent late Thursday. The price of the note jumped $1.13 for every $100 invested.

Bond yields fall when their prices rise. That means more people are trying to buy the bonds, which are less risky than stocks and commodities. Investors tend to pile into Treasurys when they're worried about the economy.

Treasury yields also fell Wednesday and Thursday as traders worried that Spain could become the next European country to run into trouble with its debts.

The government said 120,000 net jobs were created in the U.S. last month, far fewer than analysts were expecting and down from more than 200,000 in each of the three previous months. The unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent, but mostly because more people stopped looking for work

Bond trading closed at noon Eastern for the Good Friday holiday. Stock and commodities trading were closed. Stock index futures fell sharply in the 45 minutes trading was open after the jobs report came out. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 1.1 percent in the abbreviated session.

In other bond trading, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell to 3.22 percent from 3.32 percent late Thursday. Its price jumped $2.03 per $100 invested. The yield on the two-year note fell to 0.32 percent from 0.35 percent.

The yield on the three-month T-bill was 0.07 percent.

By Salon Staff

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