U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rises above 1.5%

U.S. Treasury yields jumped Wednesday as investors continue to monitor developments on the omicron Covid variant.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note surged 7.2 basis points at 1.553% by 4:00 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond jumped 6.4 basis points to 1.966%. Yields move inversely to prices and 1 basis point is equal to 0.01%.


"Technical factors really accentuated the rise. You're in a very thin trading environment during the final week of the year. The Federal Reserve is on the sidelines," said Wells Fargo Investment Institute's Gary Schlossberg.

The U.S. has confirmed more than 4.5 million Covid cases this month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That's well above November's tally of 2.54 million. The country's seven-day average of cases is also at 260,133.29 cases, more than 260% higher than the average from Nov. 28.

However, investors have been encouraged by some positive news on the omicron Covid variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that it was shortening its isolation recommendation for people who test positive to five days from 10 if those people do not have symptoms.

Research out of South Africa indicated that omicron infections can help boost immunity to the earlier delta strain of Covid.

A few studies in South Africa, Scotland and England also suggested that people infected with the omicron coronavirus variant were less likely to be admitted to hospital than if they contracted other strains.

On the data front, the U.S. goods trade deficit hit a record in November, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The international trade deficit was $97.8 billion in November, up $14.6 billion from $83.2 billion in October, according to the department.

—CNBC's Jessica Bursztynsky and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article.