Treasuries showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Thursday, eventually closing nearly flat for the second straight session.
After seeing early weakness, bond prices turned higher as the day progressed but moved back to the downside going into the close. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, ended the day unchanged at 1.589 percent.
The ten-year note yield closed unchanged for the second consecutive day, stuck at the two-month closing low set on Tuesday.
The lackluster performance came as traders digested a batch of disappointing U.S. economic data that largely reflected distortions due to the major disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy.
A report from the Labor Department said jobless claims jumped to 439,000 in the week ended November 10th, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 361,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 376,000 from the 355,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The much bigger than expected increase lifted jobless claims to their highest level since coming in at 464,000 in the week ended April 30, 2010.
However, the data was distorted by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, with several states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions reporting large increases due to the storm.
The New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserves also released separate reports showing contractions in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.
Noting the impact of the storm, Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "We're going to somehow have to carve out the business activity in the Northeast of late in order to get an accurate pulse of the state of the rest of the national economy."
Trading on Friday could be impacted by the release of the Federal Reserve's report on industrial production in the month of October, although the data may be viewed as old news in light of the storm.
by RTT Staff Writer
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