US Treasury yields rise as decision on Federal Reserve chair looms

U.S. government debt yields tested daily highs Tuesday afternoon, as investors digested the latest news surrounding the decision of the next Federal Reserve chair.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat higher at around 2.414 percent at 3:16 p.m. ET, its highest level since May. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.926 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


President Donald Trump asked Senate Republicans for a show of hands in support of potential nominees for chairman of the Federal Reserve as he took part in a lunch meeting with the fractious caucus, reported Bloomberg. The president alone is responsible for choosing Chairs of the Fed.

According to the report, Senator Tim Scott said Trump asked specifically about economist John Taylor and Fed Governor Jerome Powell, both of whom are considered strong contenders for the central bank's top job.

The Treasury Department auctioned $26 billion in 2-year notes at a high yield of 1.596 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.74.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 48.2 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 14.1 percent.

While no major speeches by the U.S. Federal Reserve are scheduled to take place Tuesday, talk of who will take on the role of Fed Chair in early 2018 will remain a key topic of conversation among investors. At present, five people have been named as potential candidates, including current Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

With a verdict looming, investors will likely be looking for any new developments or announcements when it comes to the U.S. central bank.

In an interview aired in recent days, President Donald Trump acknowledged that the markets expected that he would likely go for Stanford economist John Taylor or Fed Governor Jerome Powell for the top role. One of the two could be put up for the position of Fed chair, while the other could be nominated for the vice chair role, a recent FBN report suggested.

PredictIt, and online site where users can place bets on the probability of various events, currently gives Powell a 55 percent chance of getting the job.

Tax reform will also likely be at the back of investors' minds Tuesday, as markets look for any new developments.

Last week, the Senate passed a budget proposal that allowed Republicans to move closer to eventually passing tax reform — a measure that was approved by a vote of 51-49.

The tax plan crafted by Trump and Republican leaders calls for steep tax cuts for corporations and potentially for individuals. It would double the standard deduction used by most Americans, shrink the number of tax brackets from seven to three or four, and repeal inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates.

Republicans aim to release their tax bill on Nov. 1, a Capitol Hill source tells CNBC.

Meanwhile on Wall Street, investors will be paying close attention to the latest deluge of corporate earnings, as a number of major brands get ready to report.