New issues met with mixed-responses yesterday as many buyers bided their time ahead of this week's $7.4 billion new issue slate.

Market activity was subdued as players wait for the week's big issues, including today's $1.2 billion New York City offering and Wednesday's $1.6 billion New Jersey Turnpike deal.

Prices were quoted unchanged to down 1/8 point on average.

Meanwhile, underwriters were left to test market levels since choosy buyers were in no hurry to place orders, thanks to the flood of supply.

"The deals are mixed," said one market player. "People like the market, but there are so many bonds coming that retail can demand concessions they'll probably get it."

Topping, the negotiated slate, Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. as senior manager tentatively priced and repriced $300 million of Harris County, Tex., various purpose bonds to raise yields between five and 15 basis points throughout the loan.

A Smith Barney officer said the deal saw good interest from trust departments and small retail investors. But because of the size of the issues, the officer said institutional buyers had to be courted at slightly higher yields.

"Buyers are in the driver seat," the officer added. "They are under no pressure to spend any of their money today. They know they can pick and choose, and they are certainly exercising that right."

The final pricing included $132 million of flood control district bonds priced to yield from 4.25% in 1992 to 5.80% in 1998, and 6.25% in 2003 to 6.50% in 2006.

Capital appreciation bonds were priced to yield from 6.20% in 1999 to 6.50% in 2002.

There also was $123 million of road refunding bonds priced to yield from 4.70% in 1993 to 5.80% in 1998, annd 6.25% in 2003 to 6.45% in 2005.

Capital appreciation bonds were priced to yield from 6.20% in 1999 to 6.50% in 2002.

Finally, there was $44 million of permanent improvement refunding bonds priced to yield from 5.25% in 1995 to 6.50% in 2006.

The issue is expected to receive an Aa rating from Moody's Investors Service. Standard & Poor's Corp. rates the bonds AA-plus, except for the capital appreciation bonds, which are insured by MBIA and rated triple-A by both agencies.

In other sizable action, RRZ Public Markets as senior manager tentatively priced a $259 million Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission turnpike revenue bond issue.

The offering included $82 million series M bonds tentatively priced at par to yield from 4.50% in 1992 to 6.50% in 2008.

A 2011 term was tentatively priced at par to yield 6.60%, a 2015 term tentatively priced as 6.50s to yield 6.60%, and a 2017 original issue discount tentatively priced as 5.50s to yield 6.60%.

There also is $176 million of series N bonds tentatively priced at par to yield from 4.50% in 1992 to 6.60% in 2006.

A 2011 term was tentatively priced at par to yield 6.60%, a 2015 term tentatively priced as 6.50s to yield 6.70%, a 2017 term priced as an original issue discount as 5.50s to yield 6.70%, and a 2019 term tentatively priced as an original issue discount as 5.50s to yield 6.60%.

The issue is rated A by Moody's and Standard & Poor's, except for series M bonds from 2000 to 2017 and series N bonds in 2011 and 2019, which are FGIC-insured and tripe-A-rated by Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Investors Service.

In the competitive sector, $97 million of Nassau County, N.Y., unlimited tax general improvement bonds were won by a Lehman Brothers group.

The first issue totaled $77 million and was won with a net interest cost of 6.0728%.

The second issue of sewer district bonds totaled $20 million and was won with a net interest cost of 6.3229%.

Both issues included serial bonds priced to yield from 4.20% in 1992 to 6.55% in 2010.

Lehman reported a combined unsold balance of $40 million near the session's end.

The deals are insured by FGIC and triple-A rated by Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch.

In secondary trading, market participants were reluctant to test price levels under the supply pressure. "If there were a lot of bonds out for the bid the market would be off more than 1/8 point," one trader said. "Nobody has tested the bidside yet."

Secondary market activity was even slight for bonds backed by guaranteed investment contracts with Executive Life Insurance Co., which some had expected to trade heavily following a ruling favorable to bondholdeers late Friday.

A California state court said the investment contracts should be considered on par with insurance policies. The ruling rejected the contention by the state insurance commissioner that the claims of the GIC-backed bonds were secondary to those of policy holders.

Despite the bullish implications for GIC-backed bonds, trading of the issues was light, market sources said, with a bid of 46 cents on the dollar reported.

In other action, Louisiana bonds failed to move after the much publicized gubernatorial elections.

In secondary dollar bond trading, prices were quoted unchanged to off as much as 1/4 point on the day.

Denver Airport 7 3/4s of 2021 were quoted at 92 1/2-93 to yield approximately 8.39%. North Carolina Eastern 6 1/2s of 2017 were quoted at 96 3/8-3/4 to yield 6.76%. Washington Public Power Supply System 6 7/8s of 2017 were quoted at 99-1.2 to yield 6.91% and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority 7s of 2012 were quoted at 97 3/4-98 3/4 to yield 7.11%.

Short-term note yields were lower by as much as eight basis points on some notes as investors fled the volatile stock market.

Traders reported sizable blocks of New York State Trans and Metropolitan Transportation Authority bonds offered in the secondary, but no bids were received.

In late secondary trading, Los Angeles Trans were quoted at 4.09% bid, 4.05% offered. March New York State Trans were quoted at 4.90% bid, 4.85% offered, and New York City Rans were quoted at 4.90% bid, 4.85% offered. Texas notes were quoted at 4.07% bid, 4.03% offered in late cash trading.

But the impending deluge of bond deals this week could force some short-term rates up as bond funds sell their short-term debt to buy long-term, several note traders said.

"I suspect that a number of people who will be paying for those issues will do so with the proceeds of variable-rate demand bonds, which will have to be put back and have to get cheaper," the source said. "You'll see short term rates rise a little bit here to accommodate this financing bulge."

A factor that could continue to buyy the short end at the turn of the year is the flight of funds from bank certificates of deposit, whose average yields have dropped sharply in the last year.

New York City Pricing

New York City will tap the market today with a $1.2 billion GO issue, to be marketed by J.P. Morgan Securities. The issue will defease some of the city's outstanding insured bonds in order to free up enhancement capacity for future deals and reduce debt service costs.

Market participants yesterday said the maximum yield is likely to be around 7.70% to 7.75% for long bonds.

"It is a lot of bonds and there is a certain amount of negative publicity to overcome," said one banker. But he added, "It seems that the market in New York is almost insatiable. I think it will be well received.

But fund managers may seek price concessions in light of the size of the deal and the deluge of supply in the market.

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