The Treasury Department. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Despite yields well below 3%, where they were as recently as November, Wednesday's 10-year Treasury note auction was very strong, with direct bidders taking double their average and the highest level since 2015.

Why it matters: Direct bidders include foreign buyers and U.S. institutions that don't do business directly with the Federal Reserve, so they're not compelled to buy government debt. The results show U.S. Treasuries are still very attractive, analysts say. But that may not be a good thing.

  • "If you are looking to add duration in preparation for an economic slowdown, getting 10 [year Treasuries] at 2.73% when they were at 2.54% on Friday seems like a pretty good deal," said Ben Jeffery, U.S. rates strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

The bottom line: While most economists have predicted slowing U.S. and global growth in 2019, Jeffery warns, "You would have to imagine there are at least some in the market playing for something more ominous."

Go deeper: The market rally that could signal a coming recession

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
What Matters 2020

The missed opportunities for 2020 and beyond

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.