NEW YORK - The tax-exempt market was dead on Thursday morning as most traders extended the Fourth of July holiday into the end of the week.

"It's very slow," a New York trader said.

The Municipal Market Data scale was not updated by press time. On Tuesday, the 10-year yield finished flat at 1.85%. The two-year ended steady at 0.32% for the 23rd straight session while the 30-year yield finished flat at 3.16% for the eighth session.

Treasuries were much stronger Thursday morning. The benchmark 10-year yield fell four basis points to 1.59% while the 30-year yield dropped five basis points to 1.70%. The two-year yield fell one basis point to 0.30%.

In economic news, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims fell 14,000 to 374,000 for the week ended June 30. Continuing claims rose 4,000 to 3.306 million for the week prior.

Initial claims were lower than the 385,000 projected by economists while continuing claims were close to the 3.300 million expected.

"The decline in jobless claims over the last two weeks has stabilized the four-week average at a level that is some 10,000 above the average level of claims over the first half of the year," wrote economists at RDQ Economics. "It is good news at the margin that the four-week average of claims has not continued to move higher since the middle of June. As we go forward into early July, claims may become temporarily disconnected from labor-market fundamentals because of the changed pattern of summer shutdowns in the auto industry this year. We judge the level of claims to be consistent with a modest to moderate pace of job creation."

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