The municipal market was flat with a slightly weaker tone yesterday as Wake County, N.C., brought a $383.4 million competitive deal to the market, just two days after postponing it.
The county competitively sold the general obligation refunding bonds to Citi at a true interest cost of 3.14%.
The deal, originally set for Wednesday, was postponed indefinitely on Tuesday, after downgrades of Greece and Portugal caused a Treasury rally that eliminated potential savings.
With Treasury yields rising Wednesday, Wake County opted to enter the market yesterday.
The bonds mature from 2013 through 2026. Yields range from 1.35% with a 5% coupon in 2014 to 3.50% with a 5% coupon in 2026.
Bonds maturing in 2013, and from 2022 through 2025 were not formally re-offered.
The bonds, which are not callable, are rated triple-A by all three major rating agencies.
In the secondary market, tax-exempt yields were flat to higher by one basis point.
“There’s a bit of a weaker tone out there, but not a whole lot of movement,” a trader in New York said. “I’d say there’s some amount of cheapening on the short end, but elsewhere, we’re fairly flat.”
“You could say it feels a little weaker, but honestly, I don’t even know if I see much of that at this point,” a trader in Los Angeles said. “I think I would have agreed with that earlier in the day, but now, I think I would just say unchanged. No tone, no nothing. Just unchanged, fairly quiet in the Street.”
The Treasury market was mixed. The benchmark 10-year note was quoted near the end of the session with a yield of 3.75% after opening at 3.76%.
The yield on the two-year note was quoted near the end of the session at 1.03% after opening at 1.02%.
The yield on the 30-year bond was quoted near the end of the session at 4.61% after opening at 4.62%.
The Municipal Market Data triple-A scale yielded 2.94% in 10 years and 3.79% in 20 years yesterday, matching Wednesday. The scale yielded 4.06% in 30 years yesterday, also matching Wednesday.
Wednesday’s triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 78.0% of comparable Treasuries and 30-year munis were at 87.5%, according to MMD, while 30-year tax-exempt triple-A GOs were at 92.3% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.
Elsewhere in the new-issue market yesterday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced $145 million of student loan revenue bonds for the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.
The bonds mature in 2020 and 2036, yielding 100% of the three-month Libor plus 30 and 95 basis points, respectively.
The bonds, which are subject to the alternative minimum tax, are not callable, and are rated AAA by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch also priced $131.6 million of refunding and construction bonds for Bentonville, Ark., School District No. 6.
The bonds mature from 2011 through 2029, with term bonds in 2031, 2034, 2037, and 2040.
Yields range from 0.54% with a 3% coupon in 2011 to 4.50% priced at par in 2037. Bonds maturing from 2020 through 2034 and in 2040 were sold and not available.
The bonds, which are callable at par in 2017, are rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.
Citi priced $96.5 million of utility system revenue refunding bonds for the Orlando, Fla., Utilities Commission.
The bonds mature from 2011 through 2022, with yields ranging from 1.08% with a 3% coupon in 2012 to 3.52% with a 5.25% coupon in 2022. Bonds maturing in 2011 were decided via sealed bid.
The bonds, which are not callable, are rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Kentucky’s Sanitation District No. 1, which covers Campbell, Kenton, and Boone counties, competitively sold $75 million of taxable Build America Bonds to Robert W. Baird & Co. with a TIC of 3.64%.
The BABs mature from 2011 through 2019, and from 2025 through 2029, with term bonds in 2032, 2037, and 2040.
Coupons range from 1.00% in 2011, or 0.65% after the 35% federal subsidy, to 6.25% in 2040, or 4.07% after the subsidy. None of the bonds were formally re-offered.
The bonds are callable at par in 2020. They are rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by Standard & Poor’s.
Wells Fargo Securities priced $59.6 million of unlimited-tax school building BABs for the Beaumont, Tex., Independent School District.
The BABs mature from 2020 through 2030, with a term bond in 2038. Yields range from 4.45% in 2020, or 2.89% after the 35% federal subsidy, to 5.81%, or 3.78% after the subsidy, all priced at par.
The bonds were priced to yield between 70 and 150 basis points over the comparable Treasury yield, and are callable at par in 2020.
The deal is rated triple-A based on backing from Texas’ Permanent School Fund program. The underlying credit is rated AA-minus by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
In economic data released yesterday, initial jobless claims fell 11,000 to 448,000 in the week ending April 24, the second straight weekly decline and the lowest number of claims in four weeks.
Continuing claims declined to 4.645 million in the week ending April 17. Continuing claims have fallen in three of the last four weeks.
Economists expected 445,000 initial claims and 4.610 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.