Municipal prices were mostly unchanged in comatose trading yesterday as the market waited for today's new-issue slate -- estimated to be over $2 billion.
Last Friday, prices rose because a weaker than expected jump in the May unemployment rate, combined with the Fed's report of a shrinking money supply, seemed to increase the chance for another Fed easing.
But the Treasury market traded in a tight range yesterday, with skeptical traders waiting for Thursday's retail sales report for further signs of economic health.
Municipal bond traders followed suit, and prices were quoted mostly unchanged to 1/8 point higher in a moribund trading session.
In the debt futures market, the September municipal futures contract settled up 2/32 to 95.24. The September MOB spread narrowed to negative 159 from negative 160 on Friday.
In light new-issue activity in the long-term sector, a syndicate led by Goldman, Sachs & Co. priced and repriced $166.3 million of Dallas general obligation refunding bonds to lower some yields by five to 10 basis points.
The final reoffering scale included serial bonds offered to investors at yields ranging from 2.90% in 1993 to 6.10% in 2005.
The managers said they expect Moody's Investors Service to rate the issue Aaa. Standard & Poor's Corp. confirmed its AAA.
In other action, First Albany Corp. tentatively priced $155 million of Monroe County, N.Y., various general obligation notes in the short-term sector.
The offering included $44 million of public improvement bond anticipation notes, $1.37 million water improvement Bans, and $40 million pure water districts Bans, tentatively priced as 3-3/4s to yield 3.25%, due June 11, 1993.
There also was $70 million of revenue anticipation notes, tentatively priced as 3-3/4s to yield 3.15%.
The notes are not rated.
In follow-through business, Lehman Brothers, senior manager for $125 million of Baltimore County, Md., general obligation bonds, reported an unsold balance late yesterday of $20.4 million.
Although secondary prices are likely to remain in a tight range until the retail sales report, market players will have plenty of new deals to focus on since the bulk of this week's $5 billion of new issues are expected to be priced today.
Market participants said the deals should continue to be well received, especially since as much as $10 billion of bonds could be called July 1, potentially freeing up a large amount of cash for reinvestment.
Secondary traders will look to the results of the new deals for direction and, barring any surprising economic indicators, most market players were bullish on near-term price prospects.
But the calendar is growing, and the preliminary 30-day visible supply compiled by The Bond Buyer yesterday totaled more than $6.01 billion. That height had not been reached since March 18, when $6.22 billion of new deals were slated to be sold.
Dominating today's primary action, $480 million of Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority special obligation bonds will be priced by Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. in the negotiated sector.
Market sources speculated yesterday that long insured bonds would fetch yields between 6.40% and 6.45%.
An issue of $250 million of Georgia Municipal Electric Authority refunding revenue bonds will be priced by First Boston Corp., and $250 million of Clark County, Nev., bonds, to be priced by Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.
Also slated for sale are $250 million Massachusetts general obligation bonds, to be priced by Merrill Lynch & Co. Market sources said that the deal could garner a maximum yield of 6.65% in 2013.
Traders said that action in the market was very light yesterday, but the tone was firm.
Trading did increase during the afternoon session and market players reported some blocks changing hands, but bid-wanted activity was limited.
The Standard & Poor's Blue List of dealer inventory fell $114.5 million to $1.3 billion.
In secondary dollar bond trading prices were mostly unchanged to 1/8 point higher in spots, traders said.
In late action, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority AMT insured 6-3/8s of 2021 were quoted at 97-1/4-1/2 to yield 6.58%, New York State Power Authority 6-1/4s of 2023 were quoted at 97-3/8-1/2 to yield 6.45%, and South Carolina PSA 6-5/8s of 2031 were quoted at 99-1/4 to yield 6.69%. California 6-1/4s of 2012 were quoted at 97-3/8-5/8 to yield 6.48% and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority MBIA 6-1/4s of 2022 were quoted at 97-5/8-98 to yield 6.42%.
Short-term note traders reported a quiet session with prices mostly unchanged.
Late in the session, California Rans 3-1/4s were quoted at 3.35% bid, 3.40% offered; Los Angeles Trans 5-1/4s were quoted at 3.36% bid, 3.31% offered; Pennsylvania Tans 5s were quoted at 3.50% bid, 3.45% offered; and New York Sate Trans 3.65s were quoted at 3.03% bid, 2.95% offered.
Peacock, Hislop, Staley & Given Inc. priced $54 million of Phoenix general obligation refunding bonds.
About $10 million of Series A bonds were priced to yield from 4.80% in 1995 to 5.80% in 2001. There were $29 million of Series B bonds priced to yield from 3.50% in 1993 to 5.60% in 1999 and $16 million Series C bonds priced to yield 3.50% in 1993, and from 4.80% in 1995 to 6.415% in 2013.
The bonds are rated Aa by Moody's and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's.
The First Boston Corp. priced $48 million Missouri State Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority water pollution control revenue bonds, state revolving fund program-multiple participant series.
The offering included serial bonds priced at par to yield from 3.75% in 1993 to 6.10% in 2002. A 2008 term was priced at par to yield 6.45% and a 2014 term was priced at par to yield 6.55%.
The bonds are rated Aa by Moody's.