Government bond yields dropped to their lowest levels of the year after two reports cast fresh doubt about the economic recovery.
Payroll processor ADP reported Wednesday that private employers hired just 38,000 people in May, far below what economists expected. A separate survey showed manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace since September 2009.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury sank below 3 percent for the first time this year. Banks and other lenders use the 10-year yield as a benchmark when setting interest rates for mortgages and other loans. Yields for two-year and five-year Treasury notes also dropped to 2011 lows.
The 10-year yield fell to 2.94 percent from 3.06 percent late Tuesday. The 10-year note rose $1.00 for every $100 invested. Bond yields fall when their prices rise.
The two-year yield slipped to 0.45 percent from 0.47 percent late Tuesday. The five-year yield dropped to 1.60 percent from 1.71 percent.
The price of the 30-year Treasury rose $1.46, while its yield fell to 4.14 percent from 4.23 percent late Tuesday.
In the market for short-term Treasury bills, the three-month bill paid a 0.04 percent yield. Its discount was 0.05 percent.