Friday, 16 March 2012

Positive US economic data push stocks and 10-year yield up

US economic data continued to come in positive on Thursday.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to 351,000 last week. The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State general business conditions index rose to 20.21, its highest level since June 2010, from 19.53 in February. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's business activity index rose to 12.5 from 10.2.

Wholesale price inflation picked up last month, the producer price index increasing 0.4 percent, up from January's 0.1 percent gain.

Investors responded to the data by sending the S&P 500 above 1,400. It rose 0.6 percent on Thursday to close at 1,402.6, the highest close since June 2008.

The 10-year Treasury yield increased one basis point to 2.28 percent for its seventh consecutive increase, the longest stretch of increases since 2006.

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