After a week that saw few deals scheduled to come to market, and even fewer make it, municipal bond traders will see the calendar perk up a bit next week as several issues of size are set to hit the screens.

Secondary market
The MBIS municipal non-callable 5% GO benchmark scale was stronger in early trading.

The 10-year muni benchmark yield fell to 2.246% on Friday from the final read of 2.252% on Thursday, according to Municipal Bond Information Services. The MBIS 30-year benchmark muni yield decreased to 2.736% from 2.737%.

The MBIS benchmark index is updated hourly on the Bond Buyer Data Workstation.

U.S. Treasuries are little changed in early activity. The yield on the two-year Treasury was flat on Friday from 1.96% on Thursday, the 10-year Treasury yield gained to 2.46% from 2.45% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury increased to 2.79% from 2.78%.

Top-rated municipal bonds finished weaker on Thursday. The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation rose one basis point to 1.99% from 1.98% on Wednesday, while the 30-year GO yield gained two basis points to 2.56% from 2.54% according to the final read of MMD’s triple-A scale.

On Thursday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 81.3% compared with 81.0% on Wednesday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 92.0% versus 91.2%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 40,912 trades on Thursday on volume of $12.68 billion.

Week's actively traded issues
Some of the most actively traded bonds by type in the week ended Jan. 5 were from New York and Illinois issuers, according to Markit.

In the GO bond sector, the New York City zeroes of 2042 were traded 31 times. In the revenue bond sector, the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority zeroes of 2050 were traded 24 times. And in the taxable bond sector, the Illinois 5.1s of 2033 were traded 12 times.

Week's actively quoted issues
Puerto Rico, Chicago and Illinois names were among the most actively quoted bonds in the week ended Jan. 5, according to Markit.

On the bid side, Puerto Rico Commonwealth GO 5s of 2041 were quoted by 56 unique dealers. On the ask side, the Chicago taxable 5.432s of 2042 were quoted by 190 dealers. And among two-sided quotes, Illinois taxable 5.1s of 2033 were quoted by 23 unique dealers.

Lipper: Muni bond funds saw outflows
Investors in municipal bond funds again pulled cash out of the funds in the latest week, according to Lipper data released on Thursday.

The weekly reporters saw $47.880 million of outflows in the week of Jan. 3, after outflows of $180.177 million in the previous week.

Exchange traded funds reported inflows of $195.493 million, after outflows of $15.570 million in the previous week. Ex-ETFs, muni funds saw $243.373 million of outflows, after outflows of $164.606 million in the previous week.

The four-week moving average was positive at $59.882 million, after being negative $129.949 million in the previous week. A moving average is an analytical tool used to smooth out price changes by filtering out fluctuations.

Long-term muni bond funds had inflows of $255.775 million in the latest week after inflows of $122.015 million in the previous week. Intermediate-term funds had inflows of $8.637 million after inflows of $43.649 million in the prior week.

National funds had inflows of $138.051 million after inflows of $37.812 million in the previous week.

High-yield muni funds reported inflows of $73.675 million in the latest week, after inflows of $225.414 million the previous week.

Primary Market
Massachusetts is competitively selling $600 million of general obligation bonds in two separate sales on Tuesday. The sales consist of $400 million of consolidated loan of 2018 Series A GOs and $200 million of consolidated loan of 2018 Series B GOs.

Both deals are rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, AA by S&P Global Ratings and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings.

In the negotiated sector, taxable bond deals dominate the slate.

Morgan Stanley is expected to price the Stanford Health Care’s $500 million of Series 2018 corporate CUSIP taxables on Wednesday.

The deal is rated Aa3 by Moody’s, AA-minus by S&P and AA by Fitch.

RBC Capital Markets is expected to price the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority’s $410 million of Series 2-018A taxable revenue bonds on Thursday.

The deal is rated A1 by Moody’s, A by S&P and A-plus by Fitch.

And JPMorgan Securities is set to price the Illinois Finance Authority’s $218.67 million of Series 2018 taxable revenue refunding bonds for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

The deal is rated AA-minus by S&P and AA by Fitch.

Bond Buyer 30-day visible supply at $6.92B
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar increased $1.73 billion to $6.92 billion on Friday. The total is comprised of $2.91 billion of competitive sales and $4.00 billion of negotiated deals.

Data appearing in this article from Municipal Bond Information Services, including the MBIS municipal bond index, is available on The Bond Buyer Data Workstation. Click here for a brief tour of the Workstation, or contact Vanessa Kim at 212-803-8474 for more information.

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Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.
Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman is a markets reporter for The Bond Buyer, focusing on the sell side of the municipal bond market.