Investors are split about the direction of government-bond yields in 2020, a sign of confusion about the course of the economy and monetary policy.

Economists surveyed last month by The Wall Street Journal predicted that the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note could end next year above 3% or just slightly higher than 1%. The average forecast of 1.97% was only modestly higher than where the yield settled Wednesday, at 1.786%.

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