With little news to move the market, the secondary lacked depth Thursday morning and market participants cut bonds to get them out the door.
"It feels weaker in the secondary," a Chicago trader said. "There is not a lot of depth in the secondary. It feels heavy."
This trader added that he is cutting bonds to get trades done. "After you buy, if you don't sell in a few hours then there is no depth. We are looking at stuff that has been sitting around for a few weeks."
The remainder of the primary market was set to price Thursday. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is expected to price $255.7 million of El Paso County Hospital District combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation and general obligation refunding bonds, rated AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and AA by Fitch Ratings.
In the competitive market, Virginia Public School Authority is expected to auction $148.1 million of revenue bonds, rated double-A-plus by the rating agencies.
Municipal bond scales ended steady to one basis point weaker Wednesday after a similar read Tuesday.
Yields on the Municipal Market Data 5% triple-A GO scale as much as one basis point weaker. The 10-year was steady at 1.70% for the sixth session and the 30-year closed unchanged at 2.90% for the fourth trading session. The two-year closed steady at 0.29% for the 14th session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors 5% scale also ended flat to one basis point higher. The 10-year yield rose one basis point to 1.77%. The 30-year closed unchanged at 3.02% for the fifth session and the two-year was flat at 0.32% for the 14th session.
Treasuries were weaker Thursday morning. The benchmark 10-year and 30-year yields increased two basis points each to 1.72% and 2.91%, respectively. The two-year was steady at 0.24%.
In economic news, initial jobless claims dropped 16,000 to 339,000 for the week ending April 20. The decline was larger than the 2,000 drop expected by economists.
"The high reading for jobless claims for the week of March 30 is increasingly looking like a blip," wrote economists at RDQ Economics. "The underlying level of jobless claims, measured by the four-week average, looks set to fall to 350,000 or slightly lower next week and the evidence suggests that job losses continue to trend lower."