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US Treasury yields rise after jobless claims fall unexpectedly

Key Points
  • While new economic releases are expected to shake up sentiment Thursday, politics is also expected to keep investors on edge

U.S. government debt yields rose on Thursday after the U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat higher at around 2.367 percent at 3:33 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.764 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

U.S. Markets Overview: Treasurys chart

Yields moved higher following reports that President Donald Trump is making headway in his infrastructure plans. The president will likely push his legislative agenda forward in January by unveiling a plan to fix and develop infrastructure in the United States.

Trump campaigned heavily on the need to improve the country's infrastructure, an area in which he may find more support from Democrats. However, with a big tax cut in the pipeline, commentators have questioned whether a Republican Congress will be able to pass a spending plan.

Unemployment benefit claims dipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000 for the week ended Dec. 2, according to the Labor Department. This marks the third consecutive week of declines and suggests a rapid tightening of the labor market.

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics set to release its monthly report on the employment situation Friday, Wall Street will watching to see any changes in the already-low unemployment rate, which sits at 4.1 percent. Investors will also be watching for an increase in the hourly wage, a metric known for its relationship to inflation.

While new economic releases are expected to shake up sentiment Thursday, politics is also expected to keep investors on edge.

President Donald Trump and his administration announced Wednesday that the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said that the American embassy would be moved there, even though officials recently said the relocation could take "years".

The announcement was met with condemnation worldwide, from Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, to the United Nations and European Union; with the latter two institutions both voicing fears about what ramifications the decision would have on the peace-making process between Israel and Palestine.

Meantime, the overhaul in the U.S. tax system continues to sway market sentiment. The U.S. Senate voted to go to a conference committee with the House on Wednesday, in order to negotiate a plan when it comes to reforming the current system. The Senate voted 51-47 in favor, with Republicans hoping to secure an agreement on a tax proposal by Christmas.