US Treasury yields fall after strong housing starts data

U.S. government debt yields fell on Friday after the strong housing starts data surprised Wall Street.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat slightly higher at around 2.345 percent at 1:46 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.786 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Earlier today, the 2-year Treasury note yield hit a fresh high of 1.7250 percent, its highest level back to Oct. 2008 when it yielded as high as 1.77 percent.


First off, housing starts and building permits jumped to a one-year high in October as one-time hurricane effects continue to skew data. Housing starts surged 13.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Housing starts haven't surged that much since last October.

On the central bank front, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is expected to speak at the Community Bankers Symposium in Chicago.

Tax reform has been a key market mover, after news emerged Thursday that House Republicans passed a bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, with the tax reform plan receiving 227 votes in favor, beating the 205 votes that voted against.

If the bill does end up becoming law, it would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent without delay.

Tax reform will now look towards the Senate, where the Finance Committee expects to vote on Friday.

—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Gina Francolla contributed to this report