U.S. government debt prices were lower Thursday morning as the gradual reopening of the economy fueled more robust gains on Wall Street.
Major stock indexes have rallied throughout the week so far, in large part due to the reopening of the U.S. economy following two months of coronavirus-induced shutdowns.
Futures contracts tied to U.S. indexes indicate a modest continuation of these gains at Thursday’s market open.
A raft of economic data is due Thursday. Jobless claims figures for the week ending May 23 are expected at 8:30 a.m. ET. The previous week saw 2.44 million new claims, bringing the total number of Americans to file for unemployment to 38.6 million in the nine weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered large parts of the U.S. economy.
A second estimate of first-quarter GDP (gross domestic product) growth is due at 8:30 a.m. ET after a first reading showed a contraction of 4.8%, the steepest decline since the financial crisis.
Investor focus also remains attuned to escalating tensions between the U.S. and China over new security laws for Hong Kong. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong risks losing its special status with the U.S. over concerns that the laws will diminish its independence from Beijing.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation calling for sanctions against Chinese officials over the detention and torture of Uighur Muslims in the country’s western region of Xinjiang.
On the data front, April’s durable goods orders and pending home sales, first-quarter corporate profits and first-quarter PCE (personal consumption expenditure) prices are also due at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Auctions will be held Thursday for $80 billion of 4-week Treasury bills, $70 billion of 8-week bills, $40 billion of 154-day bills and $38 billion of 7-year notes.