Treasuries are continuing their move to the downside Thursday morning after seeing substantial weakness late in the previous session. The weakness among treasuries comes as investors have regained some risk appetite as of late, moving money out of the safety of government backed bonds and into more risky assets like stocks.
Continued strength on Wall Street has contributed to the some of the weakness among treasuries, with the Dow extending a recent upward move with a nearly 60-point gain. The gains by stocks come amid a positive reaction to the latest batch of economic data.
After showing a notable decline at the open, treasuries have moved roughly sideways over the course of the morning, lingering in negative territory. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note is currently up 2.9 basis points at 2.801 percent.
Along with the strength among stocks, the weakness among treasuries also comes ahead of the Treasury Department's auction of $24 billion worth of seven-year notes. The previous auction of $22 billion worth on seven-year notes in February drew a yield of 2.748 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.11.
Weak demand for the Treasury's auction of $34 billion worth of five-year notes on Wednesday contributed to a notable decline among treasuries.
Meanwhile on the economic front, data showed that layoffs ticked up last week, though they remain off levels reached a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the size of the government's unemployment roll climbed to a new record high.
The U.S. Labor Department announced that initial jobless claims rose to 652,000 for the week ended March 21st, compared to the previous week's level of 644,000. Analysts had expected the figure to come in at a level of 650,000.
With the figure hovering around 650,000, the data has showed some signs that job losses may be stabilizing, but authorities remain concerned over the number, as it has continued to remain near the highs for the recession, posted a few weeks ago.
Another source of concern is continuing unemployment claims. People continuing to collect unemployment ballooned to 5.560 million in the most recent data, compared to the previous mark of 5.438 million. The figure has been closely watched, as it is an indication of the continued difficulty of people to find work again.
The four-week moving average for initial claims, a statistic that strips out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, showed a slight decline for the week, indicting some stabilization after a long trend of higher claims.
Separately, the Commerce Department's final report on fourth quarter gross domestic product showed that the economy contracted a little faster than previously estimated, although the revised drop in GDP was not quite as steep as economists had been expecting.
The report released showed that GDP fell by a revised 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the preliminary estimate of a 6.2 percent decrease. Economists had been expecting GDP to be revised to show a somewhat steeper 6.6 percent contraction.
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