A surge of afternoon buyers pushed munis up from their morning lows, while the belly of the curve ended slightly weaker.
“We might be down a couple of basis points, but we are not seeing that much volume,” a trader in New York said. “We are down 5% to 10% from days like today, and down 7%, compared to last week.”
“We slipped a little, but by the end of the day people were buying again,” he added. “There is definitely a bid still out there. Bonds drifted lower throughout the day, but we just found buyers taking it back up at day’s end.”
“Retail has pretty much been involved, and the Austin deal is pricing attractively and should do well,” a Dallas trader said, referring to the $238.8 million water and wastewater revenue deal from First Southwest. “And because of the size and quality, it brings in crossover buyers. There are not a lot of coupons that are priced for retail, but the ones that are should do plenty of business.”
The Dallas trader added the muni market might have to give up a little yield because of the amount of supply coming, but the concession shouldn’t be too large because of the types of deals. “Especially those billion-dollar-plus deals — the market is bringing in crossover buyers and won’t need much of a give. There are not a lot of places to put their money.”
However, the Municipal Market Data scale reported munis weakening across the curve. The four-year yield rose two basis points. Yields in the belly of the curve spiked up five basis points, while the 12-year yield jumped up four basis points. From the 13-year maturity on out, yields increased two to three basis points.
The 10-year yield finished up five basis points to 2.33%, while the 30-year yield finished up three basis points to 3.81%. The two-year closed flat for its 10th consecutive trading day, at 0.42%.
Treasuries ended slightly weaker across the curve with the two-, 10-, and 30-year yields each closing one basis point higher, at 0.25%, 2.05% and 3.09% respectively.
In the primary market, Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced for retail $1.27 billion of Hawaii general obligation bonds in five series. The credit is rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Yields on the first series, $800 million of new-money bonds, ranged from 1.43% with a 5% coupon in 2016 to 4.05% with a 4% coupon in 2031. Portions of bonds maturing in 2016, 2017, and between 2023 and 2031 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2021.
Yields on the second series, $383.4 million of refunding bonds, ranged from 1.43% with 2% and 4% coupons in a 2016 split maturity to 3.09% with a 3% coupon in 2023. Portions of bonds maturing in 2023 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2021. The deal also included smaller series valued at $56 million, $23 million, and $2.8 million.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch also priced for retail $529.2 million of Arizona Transportation Board subordinated highway revenue bonds, rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s.
Yields ranged from 0.67% with a 3% coupon in 2013 to 4.17% with a 4% coupon in 2032. Debt maturing in 2012 was offered via sealed bid. Credits maturing in 2024, 2027 to 2031, and 2036 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2021.
Barclays Capital priced for institutional investors $450 million of New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority water and sewer revenue bonds. The bonds are rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Debt with 4.125% and 5% coupons in a 2039 split maturity yielded 4.25%. A split 2044 maturity with 5% and 5.25% coupons yielded 4.43% and 4.33%, respectively. The bonds are callable at par in 2021.
Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. priced $269.6 million of North Texas Tollway Authority System first-tier revenue refunding bonds. The bonds are rated A2 by Moody’s and A-minus by Standard & Poor’s.
In the competitive market, Citi won the bid for $255 million of Baltimore County, Md., bonds in two series. The bonds are rated triple-A.
Yields on the first series, $85 million of metropolitan district bonds, ranged from 0.54% with a 4% coupon in 2014 to 4.03% with a 4% coupon in 2035. Credits maturing in 2013, 2017 to 2020, 2022, 2024, and 2042 were not formally re-offered. The bonds are callable at par in 2022.
Yields on the second series, $170 million of consolidated public improvement bonds, ranged from 0.54% with a 4% coupon in 2014, to 3.54% with a 5% coupon in 2032. Credits maturing in 2013, 2017 to 2020, and 2024 were not formally reoffered. The debt is callable at par in 2022.
Trades reported by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board were mixed, with some showing weakening. Bonds from an interdealer trade of Tennessee Housing Development Agency 4.5s of 2031 yielded 3.95%, three basis points higher than where they traded Monday. A dealer sold to a customer Hawaii 5s of 2023 at 2.73%, three basis points higher than where they traded Monday. A dealer sold to a customer San Francisco 4s of 2026 at 3.60%, two basis points higher than where they traded Monday.
But despite some concessions, a few big names saw big gains in the afternoon. For example, bonds from an interdealer trade of California 5.25s of 2024 yielded 3.77%, seven basis points lower than where they traded Monday.