By all accounts, it was supposed to be a sleepy August for theU.S. corporate bond market.

Three weeks ago, the thinking went something likethis: Sure, the Federal Reserve would cut its benchmarklending rate on July 31, in what Chair Jerome Powell wouldcall a "mid-cycle adjustment." But Treasuries were already pricingin such a move on the short end. Further out on thecurve, the 30-year yield was about 2.6percent, still more than 50 basis points (bps) away fromits all-time low. Ten-year yields were about 2 percent, whichseemed like a comfortable range for both buyers and sellers. Forcompany finance officers, it had the makings of a sellers'market but one that would be around once summer drew to aclose.

Then things got crazy. The 30-year yield lurched lower by 8 bpson August 1, then 13 bps on August 5, then another 13 bps on August12. After a one-day reprieve near its all-time low of 2.0882percent, it cruised through that level, tumbling to as low as 1.914percent. The rally was so intense that the U.S. Treasury Departmentmade an unusual, unscheduled announcement that it was againexploring issuing 50- or 100-year bonds.

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