The municipal market was mostly weaker Thursday, weighed down by an influx of long-end customer bid-wanted lists.
"Most of the larger blocks are 20 years and out — so there's some pressure out long," a trader in New York said. "We're probably down two or three basis points on the long end, and maybe a touch weaker in the shorter maturities."
The Municipal Market Data triple-A 10-year scale rose one basis point Thursday to 3.35%, the 20-year scale held at 4.57%, and the scale for 30-year bonds climbed four basis points to 4.87%.
"There isn't much movement at all inside of 20 years," a Los Angeles trader said. "It's maybe a basis point or two weaker, if anything. But the long end is off three, maybe four basis points."
Thursday's triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 94.4% of comparable Treasuries and 30-year munis were at 104.3%, according to MMD. Meanwhile, 30-year tax-exempt triple-A general obligation bonds were at 109.4% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.
Treasuries were weaker Thursday. The benchmark 10-year note finished at 3.55% after opening at 3.47%. The 30-year bond finished at 4.66% after opening at 4.64%. The two-year note finished at 0.72% after opening at 0.65%.
"Treasuries faded ahead of Friday payrolls, supply, and as [Federal Reserve chairman] Ben Bernanke sounded more upbeat on the economy," Randy Smolik wrote in the daily MMD commentary. "Muni bidders are tentative, but sellers in the serial range find little need to chase bids with primary supply remaining meek. Sellers were more pronounced beyond the 20-year range as crossover buyers stepped back from the market."
In Thursday's new-issue market, Goldman, Sachs & Co. priced $105.2 million of state capital project bonds for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The bonds mature from 2011 through 2027, with yields ranging from 1.00% with a 3% coupon in 2012 to 5.05% with a 5% coupon in 2027.
The bonds, which are callable at par in 2020, are rated Aa2 by Moody's Investors Service and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.
New Jersey's Monroe Township competitively sold $54.2 million of bond anticipation notes to Morgan Stanley with a net interest cost of 1.00%. The Bans mature in Feb. 2012 with a 2% coupon and were not formally re-offered.
Kansas' Wyandotte County Unified Government competitively sold $40.6 million of municipal temporary notes to Citi with a true interest cost of 0.40%. The notes mature in Feb. 2012 with a 0.4% coupon and were not formally re-offered. The credit is rated SP-1-plus by Standard & Poor's.
Connecticut's Hartford County Metropolitan District competitively sold $40 million of GO Bans to JPMorgan. The notes mature in February 2012, yielding 0.36% with a 2% coupon. The credit is rated SP-1-plus by Standard & Poor's.
The Florida Board of Governors competitively sold $38.9 million of university-system improvement revenue refunding bonds to JPMorgan with a TIC of 2.31%. The bonds mature from 2012 through 2019, with yields ranging from 0.80% in 2012 to 3.30% in 2019, all with 5% coupons.
The bonds, which are not callable, are rated Aa2 by Moody's and AA by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
JPMorgan priced $32.4 million of revenue bonds for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York on behalf of Skidmore College. The bonds mature from 2011 through 2031, with a term bond in 2041. Yields range from 0.75% with a 2% coupon in 2011 to 5.60% with a 5.5% coupon in 2041.
The bonds, which are callable at par in 2021, are rated A1 by Moody's.
Trades reported by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Thursday showed losses.
Bonds from an interdealer trade of New York State 5s of 2035 yielded 5.28% Thursday, up three basis points from the previous session. A dealer sold to a customer taxable Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia Build America Bond 6.655s of 2057 at 6.92%, which also gained three basis points.
A dealer sold to a customer taxable California BAB 7.3s of 2039 at 7.31%, up one basis point from where they were sold Wednesday. A dealer sold to a DASNY 5s of 2036 at 5.32%, up three basis points higher from the prior day.
A dealer bought from a customer Washington State 5s of 2025 at 4.50%, up two basis points from where they traded Wednesday.
Bonds from an interdealer trade of University of Minnesota 5.25s of 2036 yielded 4.65%, up two basis points.
A dealer sold to a customer Texas 5s of 2029 at 4.55%, three basis points higher than where they were sold Wednesday. A dealer sold to a customer insured Dallas Area Rapid Transit 5s of 2036 at 5.15%, two basis points higher than where they traded Wednesday.
Bonds from an interdealer trade of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 5s of 2038 yielded 5.38%, three basis points higher than where they traded Wednesday. A dealer bought from a customer taxable Illinois 5.1s of 2033 at 7.41%, up one basis point.
In economic news, U.S. nonfarm productivity grew at a 2.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter to match the average expansion rate of the past decade, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. Unit labor costs fell 0.6%.