NEW YORK (AP) — Investors had little appetite for U.S. government debt at the latest auction of 10-year Treasury notes on Wednesday.

The Treasury Department sold $24 billion of the notes at a yield of 1.68 percent, sharply higher than the 1.63 percent the 10-year Treasury was trading at prior to the auction. Bond yields rise when demand for them decreases.

Ever since the Labor Department reported an increase in hiring last Friday, investors have been abandoning the safety of U.S. government bonds and buying stocks instead. U.S. stock indices have mostly risen since last Friday, but Treasury prices have fallen.

On Wednesday, there were $2.49 in bids for every $1 on offer at the auction, a sharp drop from the $3.16 average of the previous six auctions.

The price of the 10-year note fell 15.6 cents for every $100 invested. Its yield rose immediately after the auction but leveled off at 1.65 percent, compared with 1.63 percent late Tuesday.

The price on the 30-year bond fell 62.5 cents for every $100 invested. Its yield rose to 2.75 percent from 2.72 percent Tuesday.

In the market for shorter-dated debt, the yield on the two-year note rose to 0.28 percent from 0.27 percent, while the yield on the three-month bill rose to 0.11 percent from 0.10 percent.