Long-maturity Treasury yields fell on Wednesday as investors continue to monitor the human and economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
Data on Wednesday showed job losses were mounting before the coronavirus shutdown began. A report from ADP and Moody's Analytics said companies reduced payrolls by 27,000 in early March. Actual losses for the month were far worse as indicated by the millions of people who already have filed unemployment claims.
Meanwhile, ISM manufacturing index fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February, signaling a contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity amid the pandemic.
The White House has projected that the U.S. could face between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from COVID-19, ahead of what President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned would be a "very painful two weeks."
More than 189,000 cases have now been confirmed across the country, with more than 4,000 deaths.
Wall Street on Tuesday closed out its worst first quarter on record, with the Dow notching up its worst quarter since 1987 as investors continued to flee risk assets due to the now inevitable global economic shock caused by nationwide shutdown measures.
There are no Treasury auctions scheduled for Wednesday.