Bond prices jump as investors seek refuge from ugly equity sell-off

U.S. government debt prices jumped Monday as investors fled to safe-haven bonds amid a worsening equity sell-off.

The yield on the 10-year yield briefly touched 2.885 percent overnight Monday, its highest level since Jan. 16, 2014 when the 10-year yielded as high as 2.893 percent. It first hit a four-year high on Friday.

At the latest reading, 10-year Treasury note fell 19 basis points from its overnight high to 2.702 percent at 4:23 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond fell 14 basis points to 2.996 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


Treasurys saw widespread buying Monday as investors fled for the safety of income in the wake of a stock market sell-off, sending rates tumbling during afternoon trade. At its lows, the Dow Jones industrial average fell roughly 1597 points Monday afternoon, briefly entering correction territory.

Treasurys have been on a wild ride over the past month, with yields steadily climbing throughout January as an improving economy spurred fears of inflation and increased borrowing costs.

During Friday's session, the 10-year Treasury yield hit that four-year high on the back of a better-than-expected jobs report, which showed a rise in wages.

The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy had added 200,000 jobs in January, beating a Reuters economists' poll of 180,000. The government also said that wages rose 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, sending interest rates upward as inflation fears brewed.

The department also revised upward its reading on December's wage numbers, from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent. The news put international and domestic markets on a roller coaster ride, with markets trading sharply lower Monday.

Meanwhile, the ISM non-manufacturing index hit 59.9 in January, well above the 56.5 expected by a survey of Reuters economists, a sign of continued expansion in the economy's service sector.

While no major speeches by members of the U.S. Federal Reserve are set to take place, Monday will mark the beginning of a new chapter for one Fed member.

Former Fed Governor Jerome Powell is taking on the role of chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, inheriting the position from the first female chair, Janet Yellen.

CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this report.