US Treasury yields pare gains after better-than-expected economic data

Key Points
  • Jobless claims came in lower than expected while U.S. retail sales increased in November, hinting at a strong holiday season and a strengthening economy.
  • The European Central Bank kept its easy policy stance.
  • The Federal Reserve raises rates Wednesday by a quarter point and hiked its growth outlook for economy.

U.S. government debt yields rose Thursday, after jobless claims beat Wall Street expectations and retail sales hinted at a strong holiday season and stronger economy.

The positive data comes a day after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates and adjusted its economic growth outlook during its policy meeting for December.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat higher at around 2.351 percent at 2:13 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.718 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


Weekly jobless claim numbers totaled 225,000 for the week ending December 9, less than the 239,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters. The tick downward was also a decline from the previous week, when 236,000 claims were reported. The latest numbers further indicate at a tighter labor market.

In other data, U.S. retail sales also came in better than expected for the month of November. The Commerce Department said that sales rose 0.8 percent last month as the holiday season kicked off, besting Reuters expectations of a 0.3 percent increase. The buoyed numbers hint at a stronger economy as well as strong seasonal sales.

In the previous trading session, bond investors digested news that the U.S. central bank had raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, which was widely expected by the market.

Members of the Federal Open Market Committee also set a target for 2018's gross domestic product, collectively upgrading the group's GDP estimate to 2.5 percent, up from 2.1 percent in September. Treasury prices initially rose on the decision, but ticked lower overnight.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced that it would keep its ultra-easy policy unchanged, an outcome widely anticipated by financial markets worldwide. The bank reaffirmed its devotion to bond purchasing at least through the end of September and to continue to reinvest cash as outstanding debt matures.

Elsewhere, in U.S. tax news, negotiators from the House and Senate have reached an agreement concerning a tax plan, Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee announced Wednesday.

—CNBC's Jeff Cox and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report