The municipal market was mostly unchanged with a slightly firmer tone Thursday, ahead of an early market close and the Good Friday holiday.
"We're very quiet," a trader in New York said. "There are a couple of two-sided markets, people are showing bids on bonds, but it's got to fit what they're looking for, their inquiry. It's basically unchanged."
Trades reported by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Thursday showed little movement. A dealer sold to a customer Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 5s of 2027 at 4.56%, even with where they were sold Wednesday. A dealer sold to a customer California 5s of 2032 at 5.12%, down one basis point from where they were sold Wednesday. A dealer sold to a customer Washington's Central Puget Regional Transit Authority 5s of 2034 at 5.01%, even with where they traded Wednesday. A dealer sold to a customer Harris County, Tex., 4.75s of 2031 at 5.11%, even with where they traded Wednesday.
The Treasury market showed losses on the short end Thursday, and were otherwise little changed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which opened at 3.33%, finished at the same level. The yield on the two-year note was quoted near the end of the session at 1.59%, after opening at 1.47%.
In economic data released Thursday, initial jobless claims for the week ended March 15 came in at 378,000 after a revised 356,000 the previous week. Economists polled by IFR Markets had predicted 360,000 initial jobless claims.
Continuing jobless claims for the week ended March 8 came in at 2.865 million after a revised 2.833 million the previous month. Economists polled by IFR had predicted 2.840 million continuing claims.
The composite index of leading economic indicators fell 0.3% in February. LEI decreased a revised 0.4% in January. The index has fallen five months in a row. The LEI stands at 135.0. Economists polled by IFR predicted it would be down 0.3%.
Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's region "showed continued weakness this month," although the general business conditions index improved to negative 17.4 in March from negative 24.0 in February, this month's Report on Business indicates. Economists surveyed by IFR predicted a reading of negative 20.0 for the index.
In the new-issue market Thursday, Rockland County, N.Y., competitively sold $80 million of revenue anticipation notes to Sovereign Securities with a net interest cost of 1.71%. The Rans mature in March 2009, yielding 2.00% priced at par. They are not callable.