A revised gross national product figure pushed tax-exempt prices up 1/8 to 1/4 point in moderate secondary trading yesterday, while Morgan Stanley & Co. marketed $272 million Hillsborough County, Fla., refunding utility revenue bonds in the primary market.
Treasury bond prices were up 3/4 in late trading on a combination of the slight 0.1% increase in second-quarter GNP, a bill pass by the Federal Reserve and a successful five-year auction. But municipals again lagged the taxable sector on the upside.
In the debt futures market, the September municipal contract settled up 13/32 to 93.22, while the September MOB spread narrowed to negative 142.
In negotiated new-issue activity, the Morgan Stanley & Co. group was able to shave yields 2 1/2 basis points for the current interest term bond of the Hillsborough County deal and trim returns five basis points for the long maturities on the capital appreciation bonds. But the group sweetened yields as much as 15 to 20 basis points for the shorter capital appreciation bonds.
The final terms included a 2011 maturity, containing $78 million of the loan, priced at 93.712 as 6 5/8 to yield 7.225%, a 2014 term, containing $73 million of the loan, priced at 96.945 as 7s to yield 7.275%, and a $58 million 2016 term, priced at 91.405 as 6 1/2 to yield 7.25%.
Returns on the capital appreciation bonds ran from 7% in 1998 to 7.30% in 2007.
A Morgan Stanley officer said that institutions took the term bonds and maximum yield zero coupon bonds and added that there was less retail participation due to the lower ratings -- Moody's Investors Service Baa and Standard & Poor's BBB-plus. The officer said that there would be no float.
In follow-through business, Goldman, Sachs & Co., senior manager for $602 million California various purpose taxable general obligation bonds, reported an unsold balance of $246 million.
Dillon Read, senior manager for $120 million Maryland Department of Transportation consolidated transportation revenue bonds, reported an unsold balance of $10 million.
And Prudential Securities, senior manager for $97 million Wisconsin general obligation bonds, reported an unsold balance of $11 million.
Secondary trading was more active than prior sessions and traders reported several large bid-wanted lists with at least one in the $50 million range.
New York City taxable bonds have been a solid performer recently, traders noted. Bonds were reported as trading around 10.45% yesterday, where bonds traded to permanent investors at 10.90% two weeks ago, one source said.
In secondary dollar bond trading, last week's New Jersey Turnpike Authority 6.90s of 2014 were quoted up 1/8 point on the day to 99 1/4-3/8 to yield 6.95%. The more seasoned Turnpike 7.20s of 2018 were also up 1/8 point to 102 3/4-103 to yield 6.67% to the 1999 par call.
In other dollar bond activity, Florida State Board of Education 7 1/4 of 2023 were up 1/4 to 103 3/8-1/2 to yield 6.84% to the 2004 par call. New York LGAC 7s of 2016 were unchanged at 98-98 1/2 to yield 7.12%. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority 7s of 2021 were up 1/8 to 99 1/8-3/8, where they returned 7.13%. And Colorado River Authority insured 6 5/8s of 2021 were up 1/8 to 97 1/8-3/8 to yield 6.83%.
Short-term note yields sank about five basis points on the session.
In late secondary note trading, New Jersey notes were quoted at 4.65% bid, 4.60% offered. March California notes were quoted at 4.54% bid, 4.50% offered, while June California paper was at 4.58% bid, 4.55% near the end of cash trading. March New York State Trans were at 5.15% bid, 5.13% offered.
Prefefunded bond yields were mostly unchanged. Prerefunded bonds, callable in 1995, were quoted at 5.57% bid, 5.53% offered.