The market for tax-exempt municipals opened steady to somewhat firmer as traders eager for paper prepare for a larger slate of deals this week.
"The market is a touch better from yesterday, but as we go into year-end things are quieting down a little bit," a New York-based trader said in an interview. "We're a little bit firmer on the long end of the yield curve but it's still extremely quiet."
Retail investors may be pulling their purse strings as the holiday season nears, the trader pointed out. With little retail available in the market, new deals expected to price this week will offer something to investors who plan to remain active through the end of the year, the trader said.
Volume this week is expected to be larger than the week of Thanksgiving, with potential volume totaling $6.55 billion, up from sales of $652.2 million last week, according to Ipreo, The Bond Buyer and Thomson Reuters numbers.
Citi held institutional pricing Monday for Dekalb County, Ga., water and sewerage revenue refunding bonds. The bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody's, A-plus by Standard & Poor's and AA-minus by Fitch.
Yields ranged from 0.46% with a 3% coupon in 2015 to 4.56% with a 5% coupon in 2035. Bonds maturing in 2014 were offered in a sealed bid. All the bonds are callable at par in 2023.
Citi is expected to issue $1.2 billion of New York Tobacco Settlement Financing Corporation bonds Wednesday, as well as $486 million of Delaware River Port Authority bonds on Thursday.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors benchmark triple-A scale were mostly steady. Bonds maturing from 2014 to 2022 and 2027 to 2043 were unchanged. Bonds maturing between 2023 and 2026 saw yields rise as much as a basis point.
Treasuries were stronger past the front end of the yield curve. The benchmark 10-year yield fell one basis point to 2.77%. The two-year and 30-year were unchanged at 0.29% and 3.84%, respectively.