The municipal market was quiet and unchanged during Thursday's abbreviated session ahead of the long holiday weekend.

"There's really not much to talk about today," a trader in New York said. "It's quiet, pretty flat. Everyone's just on the sidelines, if they're even in, just waiting for the weekend. Very little movement."

"Everyone's ready for the weekend," a trader in Los Angeles said. "Nothing is getting done out there until probably Tuesday. We're totally flat today."

The Treasury market showed losses Thursday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note, which opened at 2.85%, was quoted near the end of the session at 2.92%. The yield on the two-year note was quoted near the end of the session at 0.96% after opening at 0.93%. The yield on the 30-year bond, which opened at 3.67%, was quoted near the end of the session at 3.75%.

As of Wednesday's close, the triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 109.6% of comparable Treasuries, according to Municipal Market Data. Additionally, 30-year munis were 128.2% of comparable Treasuries. Also, as of the close Wednesday, 30-year tax-exempt AAA-rated general obligation bonds were at 137.5% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.

Activity in the new-issue market was light.

In economic data released Thursday, initial jobless claims for the week ended April 4 came in at 654,000 after a revised 674,000 the previous week. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted 660,000 initial jobless claims.

Continuing jobless claims for the week ended March 28 came in at 5.840 million after a revised 5.745 million the previous week. Economists polled by Thomson had predicted 5.810 million continuing jobless claims.

Import prices climbed 0.5% in March after a revised 0.1% drop in February. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 0.9% climb.

In a report, Chris Mier, managing director of Loop Capital Markets, wrote that "the economy currently appears to be like someone who has hurled himself off of a very tall building."

"After a point he hits terminal velocity and doesn't fall any faster. In fact, if he stretches out, extending his arms and legs like a flying squirrel, he may even slow somewhat," Mier wrote. "The unfortunate reality, though, is that the situation hasn't really improved that much since the ultimate outcome will be essentially the same. Similarly, the rate of decline in the economy appears to have slowed, although the data continues to be generally horrible and we are already assured of having the worst recession since World War II regardless.

"The very tentative indications of the relative improvement in the data come primarily from retail sales, wholesale inventories, and housing starts, which all appear to be laying the groundwork for an eventual bottoming in economic activity later this year," he wrote. "The significance of this trend is that with the rate of decline slowing, and assuming inflation indicators remain positive, we expect that the Fed will begin preparing the financial markets for the eventual removal of quantitative easing in the months ahead."

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