Treasury Department

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U.S. Treasury Bonds: The Not-So-Safe "Safe Haven"

In the last few weeks, international investors spooked by the budget crisis in Greece and the turmoil in southern Europe have been flocking into the U.S. Treasury bond market as a "safe haven."

The huge resulting funds flows have pushed the 10-year Treasury bond yield down to 3.16%, very little above its level during the crisis of October 2008. To a rational investor, this is extremely peculiar: After all, what on earth is safe about the "haven" of long-term U.S. Treasury bonds?

To learn about the potential investment dangers posed by U.S. government debt, please read on...

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China Boosts Treasury Holdings as European Debt Contagion Sparks Investor Shift to U.S. Securities

China increased its purchases of U.S. Treasuries for the first time in six months in March as concerns about European debt contagion sparked an influx of foreign investments into dollar-denominated securities.

China's holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rose by 2% to $895.2 billion, the first increase since last September, as the Asian juggernaut cemented its position as the top holder of U.S. government debt, according to the monthly Treasury International Capital report, known as TIC. The boost follows net sales of $11.5 billion in February.

Japan, the second largest holder of Treasuries, also was a net buyer in March, lifting its portfolio holdings to $784.9 billion, from $768.5 billion in February.

China's purchases were reflective of a deluge of foreign investment in U.S. debt securities as concerns about a European debt contagion and a rebounding U.S. economy sparked greater interest in purchasing U.S. corporate debt.

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Which Stocks and Sectors Will Shine as Market Fear Subsides?

A lot of my commentary lately on the markets has been relatively short-term oriented. Today let's take a moment to pan back and consider the weekly perspective, which is rather benign, even positive.

From this point of view, stocks are broadly recovering from their most oversold condition since March of last year -- and the release of the energy stored up then persisted at near-full strength for three months.

To find out which stocks are positioned for profit, .

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Mortgage Markets Show Increased Stability, But Limited Opportunity

[Editor's Note: This analysis of the U.S. mortgage market is part of a two-story package that appears in today's issue of Money Morning. To read a related story on the outlook for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), please click here.]

It doesn't have four letters, but "mortgage" has definitely been a dirty word in the financial world the past few years. That's especially true when the word "mortgage" is paired up with such other terms as "subprime," "delinquent," and "foreclosures."

Little wonder that mortgages - along with the derivative securities backed by them and the often-unseemly practices of the people pushing them - have gotten much of the blame for precipitating the economic meltdown from which the American economy is now struggling to recover.

There's still plenty of woe in the mortgage world. But in recent months there have also been some signs that the real-estate-financing markets are at least regaining some semblance of stability, with foundations being poured for a rebuilding phase that might not be too far down the road.

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