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Bond Yields Sink As Coronavirus Epidemic Continues

As the number of coronavirus infections continued to climb worldwide, investors flooded into U.S. Treasuries this week, sending yields to new record lows.  The ten-year note fell below 0.57% while the five-year temporarily was below 26 bps, before recovering slightly Friday afternoon.  U.S. stocks did not show the same level of concern, as the S&P 500 notched a weekly gain just over 1%, as advances were led by the prospect of an effective treatment for Covid-19 on the horizon. 

The week's small slate of economic indicators were largely overlooked, although Thursday's weekly jobless claim numbers were better than forecast.  Despite another 1.3 million new claims for unemployment benefits, the number of those continuing to receive those benefits declined from 19.3 million to 18.1 million.  Although this is still a staggering number of individuals to be unemployed, the scale of the movement shows how quickly the labor market could recover once the coronavirus epidemic wanes.

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