Municipal bond traders were returning to their desks on Tuesday with their eyes fixed on falling yields as they await a rather quiet primary market. Over the past week, top-rated 10-year muni yields have fallen 12 basis points while 30-year muni bond yields have fallen 14 basis points.

Secondary market
The MBIS municipal non-callable 5% GO benchmark scale was stronger in early trading.

The 10-year muni benchmark yield fell to 2.267% on Tuesday from the final read of 2.278% on Friday, according to Municipal Bond Information Services. The MBIS 30-year benchmark muni yield decreased to 2.733% from 2.737%.

The MBIS benchmark index is updated hourly on the Bond Buyer Data Workstation.

Top-rated municipal bonds finished stronger on Friday. The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation fell one basis point to 1.98% from 1.99% on Thursday, while the 30-year GO yield dipped one basis point to 2.54% from 2.55% according to the final read of MMD’s triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were weaker on Tuesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 1.92% from 1.89% on Friday, the 10-year Treasury yield gained to 2.44% from 2.41% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury increased to 2.79% from 2.74%.

On Friday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 82.3% compared with 81.9% on Thursday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 92.6% versus 92.6%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 18,737 trades on Friday on volume of $7.30 billion.

Prior week's actively traded issues
Revenue bonds comprised 56.41% of new issuance in the week ended Dec. 29, up from 55.91% in the previous week, according to Markit. General obligation bonds made up 38.10% of total issuance, down from 38.53%, while taxable bonds accounted for 5.49%, down from 5.56% a week earlier.

Some of the most actively traded bonds by type in the week ended Dec. 29 were from Puerto Rico, Illinois and Connecticut issuers, according to Markit.

In the GO bond sector, the Puerto Rico Commonwealth 8s of 2035 were traded 42 times. In the revenue bond sector, the Railsplitter Tobacco Settlement Authority, Ill., 5s of 2027 were traded 42 times. And in the taxable bond sector, the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation zeroes of 2034 were traded 17 times.

Primary market
This week’s calendar totals about $757 million, which is made up of $713 million of negotiated deals and $44 million of competitive sales.

RBC Capital Markets is expected to price the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $381.195 million of state lease revenue bonds for state government buildings on Thursday.

The offering is comprised of $197.275 million bonds for the Health Department and Taxation Division office project; $19.225 million taxable bonds for the Health Department office project; and $164.695 million of bonds for the Juvenile Justice Commission Facilities project.

Proceeds of the sale will be used to fund construction of Health Department and Taxation Division office buildings in Trenton and to finance building juvenile justice commission facilities in Ewing and Winslow townships.

The deal is rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, BBB-plus by S&P Global Ratings and A-minus by Fitch Ratings.

RBC is also expected to price the Socorro Independent School District, Texas’ $173.54 million of Series 2018 unlimited tax school building bonds on Thursday.

The deal, which is backed by the Permanent School Fund guarantee program, is rated triple-A by Moody’s and Fitch.

Stifel is set to price the Anaheim Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency, Calif.’s $110 million of Series 2018A tax allocation refunding bonds on Thursday.

The deal is rated AA-minus by S&P.

There are no competitive sales over $50 million slated for the week.

Previous week's top underwriters
The top municipal bond underwriters of last week included RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs, Westhoff Cone & Holmstedt, Piper Jaffray and D.A. Davidson, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In the week of Dec. 24 to Dec. 31, RBC underwrote $249.6 million, Goldman $245.3 million, Westhoff $33.3 million, Piper $31.1 million, and D.A. Davidson $21.2 million.

Bond Buyer 30-day visible supply at $4.18B
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar increased $317.9 million to $4.18 billion on Tuesday. The total is comprised of $1.56 billion of competitive sales and $2.62 billion of negotiated deals.

Data appearing in this article from Municipal Bond Information Services, including the MBIS municipal bond index, is available on The Bond Buyer Data Workstation. Click here for a brief tour of the Workstation, or contact Vanessa Kim at 212-803-8474 for more information.

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Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.