U.S. government bonds showed signs of stabilizing Wednesday after a wave of selling sent yields soaring a day earlier.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 1.297%, according to Tradeweb, compared with 1.298% Tuesday.
Yields, which fall when bond prices rise, reached as high as 1.331% early Wednesday right after the release of better-than-expected retail sales data. But they then quickly dropped, suggesting traders were expecting a strong report and were relieved to have it behind them.
Even so, yields remained significantly higher than they were just a few sessions ago—the result of a burst of selling that analysts said had no specific catalyst.
Before Friday, the 10-year yield had spent about four weeks drifting between 1.0% and 1.2%. Yields, though, edged above that range on Friday. Selling of government bonds then continued in Europe on Monday when U.S. markets were closed for Presidents Day and picked up with a vengeance on Tuesday when U.S. trading resumed.