NEW YORK — A glutted primary and barren secondary has the municipal market looking weaker Wednesday morning, but not markedly so.
There has been no great selloff, leaving muni yields still almost prohibitively low. And even though investors have a lot of cash to put to work, industry pros say, they’re still selective about paper and prices.
And this week there has been a lot of paper around.
“There’s a lot of primary to digest so Street trades are hard to come by,” a trader in New York said. “There are a few sellers, which is surprising, because Street supply is pretty huge right now.”
The new deals this week are finding homes, but at five- to 10-basis point concessions, traders say. “Supply is getting absorbed, but has to be cheap,” the trader said. “Deals that are priced ‘fairly’ are going a bit poor.”
By press time, the Municipal Market Data tax-exempt yields scale had yet to be updated. By Tuesday’s close, yields out to three years were two basis points higher, but were unchanged at the four- and five-year marks.
Bonds maturing from six to eight years on the yield curve rose one to three basis points. Yields nine years and beyond were up four or five basis points.
The benchmark 10-year triple-A yield and the 30-year yield each closed Tuesday five basis points higher, at 1.83% and 3.14%, respectively. The two-year yield rose two basis points to 0.33%, after 24 straight trading sessions at 0.31%.
Treasury yields started Wednesday’s session mostly stronger. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield has dropped three basis points to 1.75%.
The 30-year yield, which jumped six basis points on Tuesday, has fallen back three basis points so far to 2.84%. The two-year yield has hovered at 0.31%.
An early close is recommended Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, so traders likely regard this week as a shortened one. The industry still anticipates a solid uptick in primary issuance. Muni volume estimates hold that $9.19 billion will reach the market, compared with $6.83 billion that turned up last week.
The stock market indexes opened the day all down about 0.80%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen about 108 points from Tuesday’s close.
In economic news, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday that sales of new single-family houses increased 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000 in April. The upwardly revised March rate of 332,000 was originally reported as 328,000.
The April rate came in above the 335,000 median annual rate projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. And the April rate landed 9.9% above the April 2011 level of 312,000.