Secondary trading in the tax-exempt market was quiet Monday afternoon as traders looked to the primary for direction with three of the week's largest issues pricing for retail investors.
Hawaii priced $806.8 million of GOs while Massachusetts came with two separate issues totaling more than $600 million for retail investors.
"People are focused on the primary and I don't seen secondary trades going on," a New Jersey trader said. "I'd say it's slightly weaker today. It feels overbought. But it's just quiet."
This trader said there were not a lot of balances left over from last week's deals and so new issues should be well received.
In the primary market, Hawaii held a second retail order period for $806.8 million of general obligation bonds, priced by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The bonds are rated Aa2 by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. Institutional pricing is expected Tuesday.
Yields on the first series of $635 million ranged from 1.16% with a 5% coupon in 2018 to 4.16% with a 4% coupon in 2033.Portions of bonds maturing between 2025 and 2033 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were raised one and two basis points on bonds maturing beyond 2021 from the first retail order period.
The second series of $35.6 million was offered via sealed bid.
The third series of $58.6 million yielded 0.37% with 3% and 5% coupons in a split 2015 maturity.
The fourth series of $27 million yielded 0.57% with 3% and 5% coupons in a split 2016 maturity.
Yields on the fifth series of $50.6 million ranged from 0.84% with a 3% coupon in 2017 to 2.68% with a 3% coupon in 2023. Yields were raised one and two basis points on bonds maturing between 2021 and 2023 from the first retail pricing.
In other retail pricings, B of A Merrill also priced $366 million of triple-A rated Massachusetts transportation fund revenue bonds for the accelerated bridge program. Yields ranged from 2.40% with a 5% coupon in 2023 to 4.35% with a 4.25% coupon in 2040. Portions of bonds maturing between 2029 and 2043 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2021. Institutional pricing is expected Tuesday.
Citi priced for retail $288.2 million of Massachusetts federal highway grant anticipation notes also for the accelerated bridge program. The bonds are rated Aa1 by Moody's, AAA by Standard & Poor's, and AA-plus by Fitch.
Yields ranged from 0.52% with 3% and 4% coupons in a split 2016 maturity to 3.47% with a 4% coupon and 3.27% with 5% coupon in a split 2027 maturity. The bonds are callable at par in 2022. A second retail pricing is expected Tuesday followed by institutional pricing Wednesday.
The retail pricings Monday come amid an overall increase in issuance this week to $5.77 billion, up from last week's revised $5.06 billion. The negotiated market should see $4.48 billion, up from last week's revised $4.17 billion. On the competitive calendar, $1.29 billion is expected to be auctioned, up from last week's revised $885.3 million.
On Friday, the triple-A Municipal Market Data scale ended as much as two basis points weaker. The 10-year and 30-year yields rose two basis points to 2.46% and 4.06%, respectively. The two-year was steady for the fourth session at 0.34%.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors benchmark scale ended as much as three basis points weaker. The 10-year yield rose three basis points to 2.62% and the 30-year yield increased two basis points to 4.25%. The two-year was flat for the third session at 0.48%.
Treasuries were stronger Monday afternoon. The benchmark 10-year yield slid three basis points to 2.60% and the 30-year yield fell one basis point to 3.69%. The two-year was steady at 0.32%.