The tax-exempt market turned its attention to the primary market Wednesday as the week's largest deals priced.
Traders said secondary activity slowed as the market kept its focus on the primary.
"The market is just primarily focused on new issuance this week which started coming to the table this morning," a New York trader said. "So that's where the focus is. The market ended last week on a good tone and Treasuries are somewhat better today. So with the lack of recent supply and the reinvestment money, initially deals should be pretty well received."
Still, he added if there is paper floating around near the end of the week, the market may have to back up.
And while the focus has been on the primary market, this trader said the secondary market was showing strength in the morning session around the five-year spot.
In the primary market, Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced $2 billion of tax-exempt New Jersey Economic Development Authority school facilities construction refunding bonds, rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service and A-plus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.
Yields on the first series of $1.63 billion, ranged from 1.27% with a 2% coupon in 2018 to 2.99% with a 5% coupon in 2031. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Bond in the second series, $380.5 million of SIFMA index notes, were priced at par, 125 basis points above the SIFMA index in 2025, 155 basis points above the SIFMA index in 2027, and 160 basis points above the SIFMA index in 2028. The bonds are callable at par in 2023 except bonds maturing in September 2025 which are callable at par in March 2025.
B of A Merrill also priced $250.3 million of federally taxable bonds for the Authority. The bonds were priced from 45 basis points above the comparable Treasury yield in 2015 to 95 basis points above the comparable Treasury in 2018.
In the competitive market, Washington auctioned $1.34 billion of various purpose general obligation bonds in four pricings, rated Aa1 by Moody's and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
JPMorgan won the bid for the first pricing, $637.6 million. Pricing details were not available by press time.
Citi won the bid for the second pricing, $323.5 million. Details were not yet available.
B of A Merrill won the bid for the third pricing, $230.6 million. Yields ranged from 0.20% with a 2% coupon in 2014 to 3.10% with a 4% coupon in 2038. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
RBC Capital Markets won the bid for the fourth pricing, $147.1 million. Details were not yet available.
Wells Fargo Securities won the bid for $350 million of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey consolidated bonds, rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
Yields ranged from 0.68% with a 4% coupon in 2015 to 3.80% with a 4% coupon in 2043. Bonds maturing in 2014 were offered via sealed bid. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
After a three-day weekend, the Municipal Market Data scale ended flat on Tuesday. The 10-year and 30-year yields finished steady for the third session at 1.67% and 2.72%, respectively. The two-year finished steady at 0.33% for the fifth session.
Treasuries were steady to slightly stronger Wednesday afternoon. The benchmark 10-year yield fell one basis point to 1.83%. The two-year and 30-year yields were steady at 0.25% and 3.02%, respectively.