Treasury yields fade as Fed meeting comes into focus

U.S. government debt prices were sharply higher Tuesday morning ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting, after the U.S. economy was confirmed to have entered recession.

At around 3:40 a.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at 0.8220% and the yield on the 30-year bond was down at 1.5758%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets Tuesday and will announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. While markets expect short-term interest rates to remain steady at near zero, investors will be watching Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s statement for clues over the central bank’s next move.

Powell intimated at last month’s meeting that more stimulus could be necessary to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed has already deployed an unprecedented barrage of rate cuts and credit and lending programs which could inject around $6 trillion into the economy.

The National Bureau of Economic Research officially confirmed on Monday that the U.S. economy peaked in February, signaling the end to the longest economic expansion in American history, which began in June 2009.

Market focus is also attuned to states’ efforts to reopen their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected more than 1.9 million Americans and more than 7 million people worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned that the pandemic is “far from over” after a record number of new daily cases, and suggested that the virus has yet to peak in Central America.

On the economic data front, the IBD/TIPP economic optimism survey for June is expected at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday, along with April JOLTs job openings and wholesale inventory figures.

Auctions will be held Tuesday for $40 billion of 119-day Treasury bills, $60 billion of 42-day bills and $29 billion of 10-year notes.