Treasuries See Further Upside As Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines

Treasuries showed a notable advance during trading on Monday, extending the upward move seen over the two previous sessions.

Bond prices gave back some ground after an early move to the upside but remained firmly positive. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 7.9 basis points to 0.670 percent.

The continued strength among treasuries came after President Donald Trump extended national social distancing guidelines until at least April 30th.

Trump had previously hoped to reopen the country by Easter Sunday, on April 12th, but said he decided to extend the guidelines in an effort to keep the death toll from the coronavirus below 100,000.

The announcement by Trump on Sunday comes as data from Johns Hopkins University shows more than 153,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 2,800 deaths.

Trump said during a press conference on Sunday that he expects the U.S. to be “well on our way to recovery” by June 1st.

News on the coronavirus front is likely to remain in focus throughout the week, although the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report on Friday is still likely to attract attention.

Economists currently expect the report to show a loss of about 148,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate jumping to 3.9 percent from 3.5 percent.

The National Association of Realtors released a report this morning showing an unexpected jump in pending home sales in the month of February, pointing to a healthy housing market before the coronavirus-induced shutdown,

NAR said its pending home sales index surged up by 2.4 percent to 111.5 in February after spiking by 5.3 percent to an upwardly revised 108.9 in January. The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected pending home sales to pull back by 1.0 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

However, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted the latest data does not capture the significant fallout from the coronavirus pandemic or the measures taken to control the outbreak.

Trading activity on Tuesday could be impacted by reports on consumer confidence and Chicago-area business activity in the month of March, although the data may be overshadowed by news on the coronavirus front.

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