Most of The Bond Buyer's weekly yield indexes rose during this holiday-shortened week, as the market carried a weaker tone, with yields either remaining flat or slightly increasing in each session.
Howard Mackey, president of the broker-dealer business unit of Rice Financial Products, said that the market has "seen some of the retail over the past couple of weeks slow down a bit, because spreads against Treasuries have contracted a bit, so while there still is value, it is not as great as it was the past few weeks."
"We've watched munis come in at close to 100% or slightly over for triple-A and very high-grade munis versus where Treasuries are, and that is quite a contraction from the point where it reached over 150% of Treasuries several weeks ago," Mackey said. "So we're seeing deals getting done, but they basically have to be priced attractively."
"I think we are seeing some stability in the muni market right now, which is very unusual given all of the changes that are going on in the political landscape that obviously will affect our markets," he said.
"Right now, I think high-grades are still being sought after, so those triple-A bonds that come in specialty states are going to always command good prices, particularly within the 10 to 15-year range," Mackey said. "So I think my attitude is that the market will pretty much tend to move in a fairly narrow band over the next couple of weeks, until there's some new news that might come in that would affect it one way or another. And right now, we don't think there's anything on the horizon that would affect the marketplace."
The muni market was slightly weaker on Friday, ahead of an early close and the long Presidents Day weekend. When investors returned to work Tuesday after Monday's closure, tax-exempts were largely unchanged. Wednesday, municipals were unchanged to weaker by one or two basis points, and yesterday tax-exempts lost another two to four basis points.
The Bond Buyer 20-bond index of general obligation yields was unchanged this week at 4.89%.
The 11-bond index of higher-grade 20-year GO yields rose one basis point this week to 4.67%, but it remained below its 4.74% level from two weeks ago.
The revenue bond index, which measures 30-year revenue bond yields, rose three basis points this week to 5.70%, but it remained below its 5.74% level from two weeks ago.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield rose 11 basis points this week to 2.86%, but it remained below its 2.90% level from two weeks ago.
The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield rose 19 basis points this week to 3.68%, which is its highest level since Nov. 13, 2008, when it was 4.34%.
The Bond Buyer one-year note index, which measures one-year tax-exempt note yields, rose three basis points this week to 0.82%, which is its highest level since Jan. 28, when it was 0.93%.
The weekly average yield to maturity on The Bond Buyer 40-bond municipal bond index finished at 5.54%, down nine basis points from last week's 5.63%.