NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) gained on Thursday as rising U.S. unemployment claims and trouble in Ukraine outweighed comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that she would monitor data over the coming months to ensure recent soft economic numbers were due to weather, and not to declining economic momentum.
The market perceived her comments as bullish on the U.S. economy, but an unexpected rise in initial unemployment claims forced many to question the true strength of the labor market.
The Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000 claims, above the forecasted rise of 340,000 claims. The unemployment benefits four-week moving average shows that the indicator has steadily risen since September.Unsure about the economy and worried about the conflict in Ukraine, investors are cautious about building equity positions, and so they have pushed funds into Treasury bonds. Armed men took over parliament in Ukraine's Crimea region on Thursday, raising a Russian flag and sparking fears that a civil war could develop and divide the country. (RSX), and invest in more stable, developed economies. Equity investors were satisfied with Yellen's comments, pushing SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) to record highs, but the continued strength in iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond index is concerning. TLT data by YCharts
At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the funds mentioned. Follow @macroinsights
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV