* U.S. consumer sentiment jumps to highest in almost six years
* Investors still uncertain about when the Fed could taper easing
* Treasuries could stay range bound in coming sessions
By Luciana Lopez
NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Prices for U.S. Treasuries slid on Friday after data showed a brighter-than-expected consumer outlook in May, although yields were range bound as investors remained uncertain about whether the Federal Reserve is preparing to taper its asset purchases.
U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded in early May to the highest level in nearly six years as Americans felt better about their financial and economic prospects, particularly among upper-income households, a survey released on Friday showed.
Combined with better-than-expected retail sales figures on Monday, "you could probably say maybe the consumer is in a little better shape than we were thinking," said Steve Van Order, fixed income strategist at Calvert Investments in Bethesda, Maryland.
But he cautioned that Treasuries are likely to stay within recent ranges as a larger dialogue continues about when the U.S. Federal Reserve might slow or stop its asset purchase program.
"We have no drama for the next few days, but it's all playing out in this bigger picture, which is pretty dramatic," he said.
Prices for benchmark 10-year Treasuries dipped 10/32 to yield 1.914 percent from 1.879 percent late Thursday.
The 30-year bond traded 24/32 lower to yield 3.136 percent from 3.096 percent late Thursday.
Treasuries rallied in the previous two sessions as a spate of disappointing economic data about jobs and inflation underscored potential weakness in the world's largest economy.
The data added to uncertainty about when the Fed might slow or stop its buying of $85 billion per month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, a bid to prop up the U.S. economy and reduce unemployment.
"We still don't know what tapering means, we don't know what it looks like, we don't know the size, we just don't know," said David Ader, senior government bond strategist at CRT Capital Group.
Instead, yields could keep bouncing within recent ranges, said Jim Vogel, interest rate strategist at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee.
Vogel said he expects to see a range of 1.85 to 2.015 percent in 10-year yields in coming sessions.