The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield continued its ascent above the 1% mark on Thursday after Congress confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 4 basis points to 1.081%, its highest level since March 20. The 10-year rate broke above 1% for the first time since March in overnight trading on Tuesday. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond also traded higher at 1.859%. Yields move inversely to prices.
Investors on Thursday digested a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims. Weekly claims totaled 787,000 for the week ended Jan. 2, less than the Dow Jones estimate of 815,000 and a slight decrease from the upwardly revised total of 790,000 for the previous week.
Meanwhile, U.S. services industry activity accelerated in December with the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing activity index rising to a reading of 57.2 last month from 55.9 in November.
A reading above 50 indicates growth in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity The index is now close to its 57.3 level in February before the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a tailspin.
The rise in yields came after a projected win for the Democrats of two Senate seats in the Georgia runoff elections, according to NBC News. These projected victories give the Democrats a slim majority in the Senate, with a 50-50 seat split and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote. The Democrats will have unified control of Congress and the White House, as Biden takes office.
This comes a day after dramatic scenes of rioters backing President Donald Trump storming the Capitol building on Wednesday.
This was after Trump, during a rally earlier in the day outside the White House, encouraged thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the confirmation of Joe Biden as the next president. The count of electoral votes eventually resumed.
Meanwhile, minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's most recent meeting, released Wednesday, showed the central bank will give the public plenty of notice before cutting back on its bond-buying program.
Patrick Harker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, will make a speech at 9 a.m. ET. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is due to speak at 12 p.m., followed by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans at 1 p.m. ET.
Auctions will be held Thursday for $30 billion of 4-week bills and $35 billion of 8-week bills.
— CNBC's Amanda Macias and Dan Mangan contributed to this report.