Treasury prices rose moderately Thursday, as a plummeting stock market sent investors back into safer, fixed-income government securities...

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NEW YORK — Treasury prices rose moderately Thursday, as a plummeting stock market sent investors back into safer, fixed-income government securities.

A Labor Department report showing that new applications for unemployment benefits rose by 15,000 last week from the previous week indicated to many investors that the economy might be worsening. The market was anticipating another week of declines in jobless claims.

Poor back-to-school sales from teen retailers and similarly anemic August figures from luxury stores also drove money out of the stock market. With oil and other commodities prices declining as well on Thursday, much of the money found its way into Treasurys.

“We’re following equities today,” said T.J. Marta, fixed-income analyst at RBC Capital Markets. He said Treasurys sold off a bit after the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported a better-than-expected August performance for the service sector, but that buying returned as stocks headed lower.

Furthermore, although the ISM’s service sector reading of 50.6 was an improvement over the previous month’s reading of 49.5 in July, it still showed very weak expansion.

“We still expect that the economy is going to continue to slow,” Marta said.

In late trading, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 22/32 to 103-4/32. Its yield fell to 3.62 percent from 3.70 percent late Wednesday, according to BGCantor Market Data. Yields move in the opposite direction from prices.

The 30-year long bond rose 31/32 to 103-31/32, while its yield fell to 4.26 percent from 4.32 percent on Wednesday.

The 2-year note rose 5/32 to 100-12/32, while its yield fell to 2.18 percent from 2.27 percent.

The 3-month Treasury bill yielded 1.67 percent, and its discount rate was at 1.64 percent.

Today, the Labor Department releases its highly anticipated employment report, which economists expect to indicate another drop in payrolls and another uptick in the unemployment rate.