A stronger-than expected employment number sent most corporate bond prices down 3/8 to 1/2 point Friday, but trading was listless ahead of the weekend.
The civilian unemployment rate rose 0.3 point to 6.9% in May as nonfarm jobs expanded by 59,000, their first gain since September.
The total number of nonfarm jobs in May was 108.781 million. April's fall in nonfarm jobs was revised to 180,000.
May's small employment increased was due to a return to work by laid-off auto workers, coupled with growth in the service industries for the first time in three months.
Investment-grade prices were off as much as 1/2 point, while high-yield bond prices were mostly unchanged to slightly lower in quiet trading.
In other news, First Boston Corp. announced this week that it has begun offering a security description database and prices for outstanding collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate mortgage investment conduits, and mortgage-backed interest-only and principal-only securities.
The securitiy pricing information currently covers over 95% of all outstanding fixed-rate CMOs and REMICs, and 99% of all outstanding interest- only/principal-only Strips. Floating-rate securities, whole-loan backed CMOs, and asset-backed securities will be added to the system within the next few months.
The system utilizes the largest mortgage-backed securities database in the industry and is based on an "expert-systems" computer model that constantly adjusts its pricing for actual transaction prices, according to a release. Daily pricing updates are based on roughly 70% of all market transactions, including new issues, broker trades, and First Boston's own secondary market information.