All eyes were on the $2 billion California deal pricing Thursday afternoon as traders said everything else was taking a back seat.
"The deal seems to be going OK," a Los Angeles trader said. "We are waiting to see how it goes with allocations but we submitted a few bids and are hearing good things."
He added the rest of the muni market was on standby. "The market is really focused on California and there is not a lot else trading." He said the market was trading steady as dealers waited to see how California priced.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley priced for institutions $2.1 billion of California various purpose general obligation bonds, rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service, A by Standard & Poor's, and A-minus by Fitch Ratings. Institutional pricing was not available by press time.
Wednesday, retail bought 37.7% of the total offering, or 72.3% of the $1.07 billion offered for retail. The state last came to market March 14 with $2.11 billion of tax-exempt GOs. Retail bought 37.7% of the total deal and 89.4% of what was offered for retail.
In retail pricing Wednesday, yields on the first series of $1.25 billion ranged from 0.65% with a 5% coupon in 2016 to 4% priced at par in 2043. Bonds maturing in 2013 were offered via sealed bid. Portions of credits maturing in 2037 and 2043 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Spreads on bonds with 5% coupons maturing between 2016 and 2022 ranged from 23 basis points to 62 basis points above Tuesday's Municipal Market Data scale.
The last time the issuer came to market with various purpose GOs on March 14, spreads on 5% coupons ranged from 27 to 79 basis points above the previous day's MMD scale.
In retail pricing Wednesday, yields on the second series of $802 million of refunding bonds ranged from 0.65% with 3% and 4% coupons in a split 2016 maturity to 3.61% with a 3.5% coupon in 2030. Credits maturing between 2013 and 2015 were offered via sealed bid. Portions of bonds maturing between 2024 and 2033 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2023 except for those maturing in 2023, and bonds maturing in 2024 and 2029, which are callable at par in 2018.
Bonds with a 5% coupon maturing in 2024 and 2029 were priced right on the MMD scale but have a five-year call.
The last time California came to market on March 14 with various purpose GO refunding bonds, spreads ranged from 27 to 83 basis points above the previous day's MMD scale.
Morgan Stanley priced $750 million of California Health Facilities Financing Authority revenue bonds for Sutter Health. The bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
The pricing of $450 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds, yielded 4.00% with a 5% coupon in 2052. The bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Pricing information on the $300 million of taxable bonds was not available by press time.
Ramirez & Co. priced $200 million of New York Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority general revenue bonds, rated Aa3 by Moody's, AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch, and AA by Kroll Bond Ratings.
Yields ranged from 0.30% with a 2% coupon in 2014 to 3.80 with a 3.75% coupon in 2043. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were lowered one basis point from preliminary pricing on maturities between 2015 and 2020.
Municipal bond scales ended as much as three basis points weaker Wednesday after a slightly lower session Tuesday.
Yields on the Municipal Market Data triple-A GO scale as much as three basis points higher. The 10-year yield increased two basis points to 1.74% and the 30-year yield jumped three basis points to 2.97%. The two-year closed steady at 0.29% for the fourth session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors 5% coupon triple-A benchmark scale also ended as much as three basis points higher. The 10-year and 30-year yields rose one basis point each to 1.80% and 3.06%, respectively. The two-year was steady at 0.32% for the fourth session.
Treasuries were slightly stronger Thursday afternoon after posting losses earlier in the week. The benchmark 10-year and 30-year yields fell one basis point each to 1.80% and 3.00%, respectively. The two-year was steady at 0.23%.