Investors and those following the movement of interest rates look at the movement of Treasury yields as an indicator of things to come. Their rates are considered an important benchmark: Because Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, they represent the rate at which investment is considered risk-free.
Click on the links below to find a fuller explanation of the term.
How Treasury securities work
Since investors in riskier investments command a higher return as compensation, the yields on many bonds and money market instruments are priced at a spread over the corresponding risk-free Treasury rate. Yields on money markets and certificates of deposit are often priced relative to yields on Treasuries of a similar length. Adjustable rate mortgages can be indexed to the one-year Treasury. Fixed mortgage rates are closely linked to movements in long-term Treasury yields, as mortgages are often packaged together and sold as mortgage-backed bonds. Yields on short-term Treasuries can behave differently from yields on longer-term Treasuries.
Back to Rate Watch main page