The 10-year Treasury yield closed at 4.644%, its highest level since June 2004. It had traded around 4.608% early Thursday. Yields rise when demand falls.
"Structural productivity continues to grow at a firm pace, and rebuilding activity following the hurricanes should boost real GDP growth for a while," Greenspan told the congressional Joint Economic Committee on Thursday. "More uncertainty, however, surrounds the outlook for inflation." He also warned that the United States needs to boost its supplies of natural gas, though he said they seemed adequate for the moment.
News hit earlier that third quarter productivity growth was a higher-than-expected 4.1%. Unit labor costs fell by 0.5%, while initial jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to 323,000. U.S. Factory Orders fell a more-than-expected 1.7% in September after rising 2.9% in August. The October Institute for Supply Management Non Manufacturing Business Index rose to a higher than expected 60.0 level in October, from 53.3 in September.
Vice President Cheney's former aide, Lewis Libby, pleaded innocent to charges stemming from the CIA leak probe, setting the stage for a politically damaging trial that could put a spotlight on the White House's use of prewar intelligence on Iraq, according to a Reuters dispatch. Federal Judge Reggie Walton, who did not schedule a trial date, set the next hearing in the case for a full status hearing on Feb. 3. Cheney and other top White House officials could be called to testify at a trial and Libby faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.