Investors ditch bonds as economic outlook improves ahead of jobs report

Key Points
  • Manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) signals strongest manufacturing growth since March 2015.

U.S. government debt yields started the year higher on Tuesday.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was higher at around 2.462 percent at 3:32 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.809 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


U.S. markets finished last Friday's session — and ended 2017's last trading day — on a negative note, although the S&P 500 posted its best year since 2013; U.S. Treasury yields traded mostly lower on the final day of trade in 2017.

In data, IHS Markit reported December U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) at 55.1, up from 53.9 in November. The latest reading was the highest since March 2015 and signals marked improvement in the health of the sector, according to the report.

The manufacturing metric precedes the widely-anticipated monthly jobs report from the Labor Department later this week. With unemployment near historic lows, investors will be watching for any changes in the average hourly pay rate and subsequent signs of inflation as the U.S. economy rallies into the new year.

Looking at markets overseas, Asian indexes closed mostly higher while trade in Europe came under pressure on its first day back after the holiday break. Markets worldwide are currently watching the geopolitical space, after news emerged that Iranian protesters had attacked police stations Monday, according to social media and news agency reports.

Concerns lingered regarding North Korea's relationship with the West, after the isolated state's leader Kim Jong-Un warned the U.S. that he had a "nuclear button" on his desk, ready for use if his country was threatened. The leader did, however, offer optimism to South Korea, saying during his New Year's address that he was open to dialogue with the country.