NEW YORK — Municipal bond and Treasury yields have mostly started their respective days in lockstep: they’re both just about standing still.
While most of the tax-exempt market’s largest deals of the week have already arrived, a few decent-sized deals are still expected later in the morning. The secondary market, as has been the case most of the week, remains quiet, a trader in New York said.
“It’s really quiet this morning,” he said. “I saw a bunch of Puerto Rico offers and National Maryland paper. Besides that, there’s not a whole lot.”
But activity could pick up, he added. On the morning, traders could probably get one or two basis points for trading to start, the trader added, but there’s so little to work with in the secondary.
“People are trying to make a last-minute push before the holiday weekend. So, I’m hoping we’ll see a little bit of volume here, as compared to the last three days, which has been pretty poor. So, I’m hoping there’s a surge we can take advantage of.”
Tax-exempt yields are steady across the curve Thursday morning, according to the Municipal Market Data scale.
The two-year, 10-year and the 30-year triple-A yields each closed Wednesday’s session flat, at 0.33%, 1.83% and 3.14%, respectively.
Treasury yields are also largely flat to start Thursday’s session. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ticked up one basis point to 1.76%.
The 30-year yield has held at 2.84%. The two-year yield has maintained its level at 0.30%.
Traders likely see this week as a shortened one, as an early close is recommended Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. The industry still predicts primary issuance numbers for the week will be up significantly. Muni volume predictions hold that $9.19 billion will reach the market, compared with $6.83 billion that turned up last week.
In economic news the Commerce Department reported Thursday that new orders for manufactured durable goods increased $300 million, or 0.2%, to $215.5 billion in April. The uptick in orders followed an upwardly revised 3.7% decrease in March.
New orders fell 0.6% excluding transportation. They advanced 1.2% excluding defense. Excluding aircraft, new orders slid 1.9%.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters estimated durable goods would increase by 0.5% and durable goods excluding transportation would rise 1.0%.
Also, the Labor Department reported Thursday that seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims fell to 370,000 for the week ending May 19. Continuing claims declined to 3.260 million for the previous week.
The initial claims number for the week declined 2,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 372,000. Continuing claims for the week ending May 12 slipped 29,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 3.289 million.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters projected initial claims would be 370,000 and continuing claims would be 3.250 million.