The tax-exempt market got off to a stronger start Friday as traders slowly started making their way back to work and pricing deals that were postponed earlier in the week.

Several big deals came to market Thursday and Friday and traders said activity was better, although still limited.

Friday was the third full day the markets were open after an early close Monday and a full close Tuesday.

"There is trading but it's lighter than normal," a New York trader said.

In the primary market Friday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch held preliminary pricing for $169.6 million of Massachusetts Development Finance Agency revenue bonds for the Covanta Energy Project, rated Ba2 by Moody's Investors Service, BB-minus by Standard & Poor's, and BB-plus by Fitch Ratings.

The first series, $20 million of resource recovery revenue bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax, were priced at par with a 4.875% coupon in 2027. The bonds are callable at par in 2017.

The second series, $67.2 million of resource recovery refunding revenues bonds, were priced at par with a 5% coupon in 2042. The bonds are callable at par in 2017.

The third series, $82.4 million of resource recovery refunding revenue bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax, were priced at par with a 5.375% coupon in 2042. The bonds are callable at par in 2017.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch also priced $165 million of Niagara Area Development Corp. solid waste disposal facility refunding revenue bonds for the Covanta Energy Project, rated Ba2 by Moody's, BB-minus by Standard & Poor's, and BB-plus by Fitch.

The first series of $130 million of bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax were priced at par with a 5.375% coupon in 2042. The bonds are callable at par in 2017.

The second series of $35 million were priced at par with a 4.125% coupon in 2024. The bonds are callable at par in 2017.

On Friday, the Municipal Market Data scale was steady to weaker. Yields on bonds maturing between 2014 and 2023 were steady to one basis point higher while yields outside 2024 were flat.

After weakening in the morning due to better than expected economic data, Treasuries pared losses to end mostly steady. The two-year and benchmark 10-year yields were flat at 0.28% and 1.72%, respectively. The two-year yield increased two basis points to 2.91%.

In economic news, non-farm payrolls jumped 171,000 in October while the jobless rate ticked up to 7.9%.

"The economic data for October continue to be relatively upbeat as the gain in payrolls and the upward revision to employment growth in the prior two months put the level of payrolls in October some 255,000 above the previously reported level for September," wrote economists at RDQ Economics. "The employment gains in the household survey are implausibly high and we still expect to see an eight-handle on the unemployment rate again before the end of the year."

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