Futures prices of Treasury bonds posted a sharp rally Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade amid signs that interest rates could ease.
The Commerce Department reported early Tuesday that retail sales in April advanced 0.9% and revised the figure for March to a decline of 0.7% from its previously reported 1.9% decline.
Sam Kahan, an interest-rate analyst in Chicago with Heinold Commodities, said the sluggish performance of consumer spending over the past two months implied a lack of upward pressure on interest rates.
He said analysts who believe that the Federal Reserve Bank might ease credit, possibly by lowering the discount rate, "had their positions strengthened." The discount rate is the interest rate charged by the Fed for loans to member banks.