Treasurys gain on global economic jitters

Treasurys rose Friday as concerns about struggling European economies overshadowed a mixed U.S. jobs report and boosted demand for safe haven assets.

What prices are doing: The benchmark 10-year note gained 7/32 to 98-10/32, pushing the yield down to 3.57% from 3.61% late Thursday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bond added 9/32 to trade at 97-15/32 and its yield was 4.52%. The 2-year note ticked up 3/32 to 100-7/32, yielding 0.75%.

What’s moving the market: Treasurys were on track to post a weekly gain as investors turned cautious amid worries about the global economy.

The advance came during a week full of top-tier economic reports, including the U.S. government’s closely watched monthly jobs report.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers cut 20,000 jobs in January after a revised loss of 150,000 jobs in December. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected a net gain of 15,000 jobs in December. [Read the full article]

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A proposed wind farm on White Mountain in Sweetwater County could displace some wildlife and place turbines within sight of Rock Springs, but would also boost the local economy, according to an environmental study.

The Bureau of Land Management released its environmental assessment this week of the proposed White Mountain Wind Energy Project.

Teton Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Lehi, Utah-based Tasco Engineering, has proposed the project, which would sit on private, state and BLM land two to three miles northwest of Rock Springs.

Local residents are evenly split in their support, said Randy Walker, a member of the Sweetwater County Commission.

“The big issues they were concerned about is its proximity to Rock Springs, it’s visibility,” he said. [Read the full article]

Seeking to create more jobs, President Barack Obama on Friday asked Congress to temporarily expand two lending programs for the owners of small businesses.

Obama said he wanted to bolster the impact of the businesses that are the chief creators of new jobs in a struggling economy.

Just hours before he spoke, the nation’s jobless rate finally dipped below 10 percent — to a still stubbornly high 9.7 percent — in the latest government figures. With the president’s poll numbers falling and punishing levels of unemployment lingering, Obama has stepped up his focus on the economy and job creation.

Obama said he wants businesses to be able to refinance their commercial real estate loans under the Small Business Administration and he wants that government agency to increase loans used for lines of credit and capital. [Read the full article]

Homebuyers spurred by low interest rates and government incentives helped lift Beazer Homes USA Inc.’s sales in the last three months of 2009, but the builder only turned a profit because of a hefty tax gain.

Management said Friday it expects to reel in more home shoppers this year, but stopped short of forecasting a profitable year.

Like other builders, the Atlanta-based company saw orders pick up last summer thanks to low mortgage rates and a tax credit for homebuyers.

But many industry experts question whether the fragile housing recovery will sputter once the tax credits — $8,000 for new buyers and $6,500 for current owners — expire at the end of April.

McCarthy argued sales may not necessarily slow at that point if home prices remain stable and unemployment declines. [Read the full article]

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