Weakness set into the tax-exempt market yesterday, as this week's hefty primary market supply began arriving in earnest, pushing yields higher.

In the new-issue market yesterday, Wake County, N.C., competitively sold a combined $502.3 million of general obligation bonds, the week's largest expected competitive offering. Bonds from the larger $435 million series were sold to Merrill Lynch & Co., at a true interest cost of 3.81%. The bonds mature from 2010 through 2026, with yields ranging from 2.85% with a 5% coupon in 2016 to 4.50% priced at par in 2025. Bonds maturing from 2010 through 2015, in 2019, from 2021 through 2023, and in 2026 were not formally re-offered. The bonds are callable at par in 2019.

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