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US Treasury Bond prices rise on weaker economic data


Treasurys prices rise on weaker economic data
May 26, 2011, 4:21 p.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

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NEW YORK (AP) — Investors sent government bond prices higher Thursday after reports on unemployment claims and first-quarter economic growth reinforced expectations that the economic recovery may be moderating.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 62.5 cents per $100 invested in late trading. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction to the price, fell to 3.06 percent from 3.13 percent late Wednesday.

It was the lowest level for the 10-year yield in a year. The yield is used as benchmark on a wide variety of loans for businesses and consumers including home mortgages.

The government reported that more people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks. Analysts had expected a drop.

The government also said that the U.S. economy grew at a relatively sluggish rate of 1.8 percent in the January-March quarter, due partly to a spike in gas prices above $4 a gallon. Economists had forecast an upward revision to 2.2 percent.

Traders tend to buy Treasurys when economic growth appears to be losing momentum.

The Treasury Department also auctioned off $29 billion in seven-year notes at a yield of 2.43 percent, the lowest yield of the year. Investors placed bids for 3.24 times the amount offered, higher than the previous four auctions this year.

The yield of the seven-year note was 2.36 percent late Thursday.

In other trading, the price of the 30-year bond rose $1.03 per $100 invested, while its yield fell to 4.22 percent from 4.27 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the two-year note slipped to 0.50 percent from 0.54 percent.

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Unemployment benefits jump to 410,000


Unemployment benefits jump to 410,000
Feb. 17, 2011, 8:56 a.m. EST
Published by Associated Press Writers
Posted by Public Blog News Posting Service Group

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years.

The big drop a week earlier had occurred largely because bad weather in many parts of the country had kept people from applying for benefits.

The Labor Department said Thursday that 410,000 people sought unemployment assistance last week, a jump of 25,000 from the previous week. The rise was much larger than economists had expected.

Applications are well below their peak of 651,000, reached in March 2009, when the economy was in the depths of the recession. Applications below 425,00 are viewed as a signal of modest job growth but they would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant and steady decline in the unemployment rate.

The big jump in benefit applications followed a week in which the applications had fallen to a revised 385,000, the lowest level since July 2008. That improvement had reflected severe winter weather in much of the country that forced the closing of government offices and prevented people from filing applications for benefits.

Economists had been looking for a rebound last week as a catch-up from the weather disruptions although the consensus view had been that claims would only rise to around 400,000.

The four-week average for benefit applications edged up to 417,750 last week, slightly above the two-year low of 411,250 reached in the week ending Jan. 1.

The unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in January after the fastest two-month drop in more than a half-century. Even with a 9 percent unemployment rate, close to 14 million people are out of work.

The Labor Department said that 3.91 million people were receiving regular unemployment benefits. That data is one week behind the figures for new applications. Another 4.5 million people out of work for a longer period are receiving extended unemployment benefits.

The latest data available shows that 9.25 million people were receiving various types of government unemployment support for the week ending Jan. 29.

An AP Economy Survey of top forecasters projects that employers will create a net total of 2.2 million jobs this year, up from 909,000 jobs created last year.
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