Top-rated municipal bonds were stronger at mid-session, traders said, as the week’s largest deal came to market — the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $554 million sale.

Secondary market
The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation fell one to three basis points from 1.84% on Wednesday, while the 30-year GO yield dropped as much as two basis points from 2.68%, according to a read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were stronger on Thursday. The yield on the two-year Treasury dipped to 1.26% from 1.30% on Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield declined to 2.04% from 2.10% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond decreased to 2.65% from 2.72%.

On Wednesday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 87.4%, compared with 89.2% on Wednesday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 98.5% versus 99.6%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 34,984 trades on Wednesday on volume of $8.2 billion.

Primary Market
Morgan Stanley priced the New Jersey EDA’s $554.34 million of Series 2017A tax-exempt motor vehicle surcharges subordinate revenue refunding bonds.

The bonds were priced to yield from 2.61% with a 4% coupon in 2022 to 2.45% with a 3% coupon in 2024 and from 2.98% with a 5% coupon in 2027 to 4.15% with a 4% coupon in 2034.

The deal is rated Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service with the exception of the 2023 through 2028 and 2031 maturities totaling $213.73 million, which are insured by Build America Mutual and rated AA by S&P Global Ratings.

Since 2007, the N.J. EDA has issued $21.67 billion of securities, with the most issuance taking place in 2008 when it sold $3.22 billion. The authority saw a low of $850 million in 2009 the only year during that span it did not eclipse the $1 billion mark. Thursday’s sale puts the EDA over the $1 billion mark for this year.

Goldman Sachs priced the Marin Healthcare District, Calif.’s $224 million of Series 2017A election of 2013 general obligation bonds.

The issue was priced to yield 0.70% with a 3% coupon in 2018 and 0.77% with a 4% coupon in 2019 and from 1.66% with a 3% coupon in 2026 to 2.52% with a 5% coupon in 2034. A 2037 maturity was priced as 3s to yield 3.24%, a 2041 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 2.80% and a 2047 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 3.28%.

The deal is rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AAA by Fitch.

Citigroup priced the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s $120 million of Series 2017D residential mortgage revenue bonds not subject to the alternative minimum tax issued under the mortgage-backed securities program.

The issue was priced at par to yield from 0.80% in 2018 to 2.85% and 2.90% in a split 2030 maturity, and to yield 3.05% in 2032, 3.40% in 2037, 3.55% in 2042 and 3.625% in 2047. A 2048 maturity was priced as 4s to yield 1.82%

The deal is rated Aaa by Moody’s.

Goldman is set to price the Regents of the University of Texas’ $350 million of taxable system revenue bonds. The deal is rated triple-A by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch Ratings.

Bond Buyer reports 30-day visible supply
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar decreased $293.8 million to $8.85 billion on Thursday. The total is comprised of $5.35 billion of competitive sales and $3.51 billion of negotiated deals.

Tax-exempt money market funds see outflows
Tax-exempt money market funds experienced outflows of $1.27 billion, bringing total net assets to $128.69 billion in the week ended Sept. 4, according to The Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet.com.

This followed an outflow of $206.4 million to $129.96 billion in the previous week.

The average, seven-day simple yield for the 234 weekly reporting tax-exempt funds stayed at 0.35% from the previous week.

The total net assets of the 847 weekly reporting taxable money funds increased $6.57 billion to $2.558 trillion in the week ended Sept. 5, after an outflow of $17.21 billion to $2.551 trillion the week before.

The average, seven-day simple yield for the taxable money funds remained at 0.67% for the fourth week in a row.

Overall, the combined total net assets of the 1,081 weekly reporting money funds increased $5.30 billion to $2.686 trillion in the week ended Sept. 5, after outflows of $17.41 million to $2.681 trillion in the prior week.

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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.
Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman is a markets reporter for The Bond Buyer, focusing on the sell side of the municipal bond market.