NEW YORK – Tax-exempt traders are staying out of the market Friday and they recover from a busy week and plan for next week’s hefty issuance.
“The music has stopped,” a Chicago trader said. “It’s Friday and people are recovering from the week. There is also a bunch of supply on the horizon and there wasn’t any deal this week that had to power to reprice the market. But next week, there is that deal.”
He added there are still a lot of balances left over from the past two weeks’ deals but “the paper in the pipeline is not moving.”
“Again, we discuss the asset class comparison and the total return that is perceived possible in equities versus munis,” he said. “Greed has taken over for fear in some ways. You see the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 13,000 and equity analysts talking up the stock market. How can you then justify getting 2% for 10 years?”
The Municipal Market Data scale was not updated by press time. But Friday morning, munis were mostly steady to slightly weaker.
On Thursday, the two-year yield ended steady at 0.26%, its record low first recorded by MMD on Feb. 16. The 10-year yield increased five basis points to 1.90% while the 30-year yield jumped four basis points to 3.27%.
Treasuries continued to strengthen. The benchmark 10-year yield fell five basis points to 1.98%. The two-year yield fell two basis points to 0.28% while the 30-year yield dropped four basis points to 3.11%.
In the primary market Friday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced for retail $150 million of Maryland general obligation bonds, rated triple-A by the rating agencies. Pricing details were not available by press time. Institutional pricing is expected Tuesday.
Looking to the primary market next week, $8.85 billion is expected to come to market, according to Bond Buyer estimates. In the negotiated market, $6.61 billion is expected, up from this week’s revised $3.56 billion. On the competitive calendar, $2.23 billion is expected, up from this week’s revised $1.88 billion.
In the secondary market, trades reported by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board over the past week showed weakening.
A dealer sold to a customer Lamar, Texas, Consolidated Independent School District 5s of 2045 at 3.56%, six basis points higher than where they traded earlier in the week.
Bonds from an interdealer trade of Oregon 5s of 2027 yielded 2.53%, five basis points higher than where they traded the week prior.
A dealer bought from a customer Massachusetts Water Resources Authority 5s of 2024 at 2.37%, five basis points higher than where they traded at the beginning of the week.
A dealer sold to a customer New York Liberty Development Corp. 5s of 2041 at 3.90%, two basis points higher than where they traded the week prior.