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Short-term US Treasury yields rise while long-term yields slip

U.S. government debt yields varied Tuesday as short-term Treasury yields climbed while longer-term debt yields fell, adding to concerns about the state of the economy.

This "flattening" trend is typically present before economic downturn as risk inflates short-term debt yields.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat lower at around 2.363 percent at 2:19 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was down at 2.762 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Meanwhile, the 2-year Treasury note yield hit a high of 1.776 percent, its highest level since Oct. 15, 2008 when the 2-year note yielded as high as 1.832 percent.

Puzzling investors further has been a string of healthier data, which would indicated a more robust economy.

U.S. Markets Overview: Treasurys chart

U.S. home sales increased more than expected in October after one-time storm effects ebbed, but a persistent shortage of housing pushed prices even higher.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home sales rising 0.7 percent to a 5.42 million-unit rate in October. According to the report, sales in both Florida and Texas rebounded after months of storm effects.

Looking to the U.S. Federal Reserve, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to participate at a moderated discussion with British economist Mervyn King. The event will take place at New York University's Stern School of Business.

Elsewhere, U.S. investors continue to await more details when it comes to tax reform in the country.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said before a cabinet meeting that his administration was going to "give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas," according to the Associated Press.

Concerns, however, still linger on Wall Street, as to whether a deal will come about and be finalized by the end of the year.

—CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this report.