Treasury prices rose Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the central bank was unlikely to increase interest rates soon, even though the economic recovery appears to be gaining strength.
Earlier, there were further signs that the real estate market is still struggling. Sales of previously occupied homes dipped last month, the number of first-time buyers is still below normal, and foreclosures remain high.
The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note edged up 59.3 cents for every $100 invested. The yield fell to 2.29 percent from 2.36 percent Tuesday.
Bernanke, delivering the first of four scheduled lectures to undergraduates at George Washington University on Tuesday, said: "We need to be attentive to where the economy is and not move too quickly to reverse the policies that are helping the recovery."
Bernanke's message slowed some of the momentum out of Treasurys in the past week. The 10-year Treasury yield had risen to 2.39 percent, its highest level since late October.
In other trading, the price of the 30-year bond rose $1.12 for every $100. The long bond's yield slipped to 3.38 percent, down from 3.45 percent late Tuesday.
The yield on the 2-year note fell to 0.36 percent from 0.41 percent.
In the market for short-term Treasury bills, the 3-month T-bill paid a yield of 0.08 percent, down from 0.10 percent.