Modest action in the municipal secondary market, particularly out in longer maturities, is propelling an otherwise quiet session.
Tax-exempt yields appear stronger by a basis point or two beyond the front end of the curve, as a result.
Mostly, though, the municipal market Thursday has been sandwiched between a day of moderate issuance and active trading on Wednesday and Friday's employment numbers, traders say. Direction for the market today is more difficult to discern.
"You're definitely seeing longer maturities getting bid up a little bit," a trader in Chicago said. "Out to the 30-year range is stronger. I call it unchanged on the front end of the curve. It's a little stronger out longer. It's quiet before the big unemployment number tomorrow, and yesterday was pretty active."
There are pockets of "specific inquiry" that traders are trying to fill, a trader in North Carolina said. "There's no real market shift or move right now, as far as today's concerned," he said. "The market seems somewhat firm, especially out past 10 years."
Two deals of note arrived at press time. Citi priced $180.7 million of revenue and refunding bonds for the Raleigh, N.C., Combined Enterprise System. Citi also priced $89.8 million of revenue bonds for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The most recent read from the Municipal Market Data triple-A GO scale showed tax-exempt yields up to two basis points lower beyond 15 years.
The 10-year yield on Wednesday fell three basis points to 1.66% and the 30-year yield dropped five basis points to 2.79%. The two-year finished steady at 0.29% for the 19th session.
Yields on the Municipal Market Advisors 5% scale ended Wednesday as much as four basis points lower. The 10-year declined two basis points to 1.73% and the 30-year yield fell three basis points to 2.95%. The two-year was flat at 0.32% for the 19th session.
Treasury yields crossed into Thursday afternoon slightly higher across the curve. The benchmark 10-year yield has inched up one basis point to 1.64%; the 30-year yield ticked up one basis point to 2.84%. The two-year yield has risen one basis point 0.22%.