Market Close: Munis Get Whacked on Historic Treasury Weakness
The municipal market suffered weakness in sympathy with Treasuries as the markets reacted to global financial troubles, the oil crisis, and the news that the Federal Reserve Board will likely keep interest rates at near zero until mid 2015.
Bond Buyer Markets Reporter Christine Albano
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For the week ended Dec. 18, the weekly average yield to maturity of the Bond Buyer Municipal Bond Index, which is based on 40 long-term bond prices, was lower four basis points from the previous week at 4.28%. more »
The Treasury Department Thursday auctioned $16 billion of four-year four-month inflation-indexed notes with a 0.125% coupon, a 0.395% high yield, an adjusted price of 100.174592 more »
Weakness in Treasuries spilled over into municipals midday Thursday, extending the morning's overall quiet atmosphere, and slightly curtailing the relative value of municipals to Treasuries compared to earlier in the week, traders reported. more »
Revenue and demand pressure on not-for-profit healthcare providers as they navigate federal healthcare reform will weigh down the sector for another year, Standard & Poor's said. more »
Municipals opened slightly weaker on Thursday morning, while traders reported an increase in bid-wanted lists from investors shopping for year-end bargains. more »
Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 to 289,000 in the December 13 employment survey week, a level that is below expectations, the Labor Department reported Thursday. more »
The municipal bond market saw spreads on Puerto Rico bonds widen in secondary trading on Wednesday while prices of high-quality municipal bonds were weaker, according to Municipal Market Data. more »
As state and local governments struggled in the recession, debt grew faster than both revenues and expenditures, climbing 22% from $2.4 trillion in 2007 to $2.9 trillion in 2012. more »
The New Orleans Aviation Board expects to issue up to $659 million in revenue bonds in February to finance a state-of-the-art terminal and related infrastructure. more »
It is "unlikely" the Federal Open Market Committee will raise rates for "at least the next couple of meetings," Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said at a press conference Wednesday, yet she noted that could change based on incoming data. more »
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it lowered to A from A-plus its long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on Lee & DeKalb County Community Unit School District No. 271, Ill.'s outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds. more »
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its rating on North Myrtle Beach, S.C.'s general obligation (GO) debt one notch to AA-plus from AA. more »
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it lowered its long-term rating on Hancock County Community Unit School District No. 316 (Warsaw), Ill.'s existing general obligation (GO) debt to A from A-plus. more »

As it steps up its efforts to police the municipal securities market, the regulator is turning to potentially career ending sanctions for municipal officials.

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