Treasury yields rise as stocks rebound from biggest Christmas Eve sell-off ever

Scott Olson | Getty Images

U.S. government debt yields edged higher on Wednesday as equities recovered some of the steep losses seen from Monday.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded at 2.786 percent after dropping to 2.729 percent, its lowest level since April. The 2-year yield climbed to 2.605 percent. Yields move inversely to prices.

Equities rose broadly on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing more than 400 points in volatile trading. The bounce in stocks comes after they suffered on Monday their worst Christmas Eve sell-off in history. The Dow plunged 653 points on Monday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropped more than 2 percent each.

The indexes are also on track to post sharp losses for the month. Investors, unsettled by dramatic stock market losses and further U.S. interest rate increases, had been recently flocking to Treasurys amid a steep sell-off in U.S. equities. Treasurys are considered a safe haven for investors as they are typically less volatile than stocks.

"People are becoming more safety-minded and that's leading them to buying Treasurys," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

A partial U.S. government shutdown that began on Saturday heightened anxiety among traders and fund managers.

"If the government stays shut down for a couple of weeks, we will be inching closer to recession," said Cardillo. "Every time you shut down the government for a long time, it does shave off some economic activity."

Yields also rose after a weak auction of 5-year Treasury notes. 

Reuters contributed to this report.