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Real estate, utilities outperform S&P 500 as bond yields fall

John Lund | Blend Images | Getty Images

The real estate and utilities sectors rose Thursday as bond yields declined along with the S&P 500 index.

Public Storage, HCP, Ventas and Extra Space Storage were among the stocks leading the real estate sector. Leading utilities were shares of Duke Energy and Entergy. Real estate and utilities rose 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

"You're seeing some capital flow into your classic safe haven assets," John Caruso, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said in an email. "Yields are off ... creating some of the upside fuel for bonds, REITs, and utilities."

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to price, was seen lower at around 2.457 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 3.044 percent.

Real estate and utilities versus S&P 500 intraday

Source: FactSet

On Wednesday, the benchmark yield rose above 2.5 percent on the back of strong economic data and hawkish rhetoric from top Federal Reserve officials.

New York Fed President William Dudley said in a Wednesday speech: "We expect to gradually remove further monetary policy accommodation and snug up interest rates a little bit further in the months ahead" if the pace of U.S. economic growth runs just above 2 percent and inflation continues to rise.

—CNBC's Sam Meredith and Reuters contributed to this report.