The tax-exempt market held its ground amid a weaker Treasury market as traders said munis were no more than a basis point or two weaker.
Following Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony Wednesday morning, Treasuries reversed gains and softened in afternoon trading. The benchmark 10-year yield jumped 10 basis points to 2.04% and the 30-year yield increased seven basis points to 3.21%. The two-year was steady at 0.25%.
"I haven't seen munis move dramatically and [they] may be weaker by a basis point or two," a New York trader said, adding the institutional pricing of New York City's nearly $1 billion deal was received well given a choppy Treasury market in the middle of pricing.
Other traders said munis weren't following Treasury yields higher. "No one is selling munis so it's not following Treasuries," a second New York trader said. "Some of the smaller deals had good demand."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced for institutions $950 million of New York City general obligation bonds, rated A2 by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.
Yields on the first series of $242.3 million ranged from 0.46% with 2%, 3%, and 5% coupons in a split 2015 maturity to 2.59% with a 5% coupon in 2025. Bonds maturing in 2013 and 2014 were offered via sealed bid. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were raised as much as four basis points from the second retail pricing Tuesday and yields were already increased five basis points from the first retail order period Monday.
Yields on the second series of $707.7 million ranged from 0.46% with a 5% coupon in 2015 to 3.00% priced at par in 2027. Bonds maturing in 2014 were offered via sealed bid. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were raised as much as four basis points from the second retail pricing Tuesday after yields were already increased five basis points from Monday's retail order period.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. priced for institutions $452.1 million of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power System revenue bonds, rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
Yields ranged from 0.78% with 3%, 4% and 5% coupons in a split 2017 maturity to 3.08% with a 5% coupon in 2032. The bonds are callable at par in 2023. Yields were lowered two and three basis points on bonds maturing between 2018 and 2020 but yields on bonds maturing beyond 2022 were raised as much as nine basis points.
Barclays priced and repriced $141.1 million of Ohio University general receipts bonds, rated Aa3 by Moody's and A-plus by Standard & Poor's.
Yields ranged from 0.17% with a 2% coupon in 2013 to 3.67% with a 5% coupon in 2043. The bonds are callable at par in 2022. Yields on bonds maturing inside 2023 were lowered as much as eight basis points from preliminary pricing and bonds maturing in 2032 were lowered six basis points. Yields on bonds maturing in 2028 were raised 10 basis points.
On Tuesday, yields on the Municipal Market Data scale were as much as two basis points weaker. The 10-year yield increased one basis point to 1.84% and the 30-year yield rose two basis points to 3.02%. The two-year held steady at 0.28% for the ninth session.
The Municipal Market Advisors 5% scale showed yields rising as much as three basis points Tuesday. The 10-year and 30-year yields increased one basis point each to 1.90% and 3.12%. The two-year yield held steady at 0.33% for the eighth consecutive session.