10-Year Treasury Auction Gets an "A" Grade

Treasury Building
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Treasury Building

Analysts said that the results of Wednesday’s 10-year $21 billion Treasury auction gave a clear signal that investors have a healthy appetite for U.S. government debt and will serve as a bellwether for how those auctions will perform going forward.

The high yield, in fact, was the highest for this maturity: 3.90 percent with a bid-to-cover ratio of 3.72 percent, 16 percent direct bidders and 43 percent indirect bidders. During the last 10 Treasury auctions, 2.87 was the average.

Wednesday’s auction earned an excellent grade of A from Citigroup’s Amitabh Arora, head of interest rate strategy, which CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli agreed with. However high the bidding was, the auction featured a mini-panic in the last half-hour, said Santelli. Right before the auction concluded, the notes were trading at 3.96.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange viewed the results as a surprise, said CNBC’s Bob Pisani, who added that the enthusiastic bidding for Treasurys will give stocks a bit of a headwind.

The auction was the third of four scheduled this week, including a TIPS auction on Monday and the $40 billion 3-year on Tuesday, which showed a 3.10 bid-to-cover ratio. The final one, a $13 billion 30-year auction, takes place Thursday. All are settled on April 15.