The Bond Buyer's yield indexes for general obligation bonds each inched one basis point higher this week, ending the longest string of declines in nearly 40 years.
The 20-bond and 11-bond GO indexes rose to 6.86% and 6.73%, respectively, from 6.85% and 6.72% a week ago.
The 30-year revenue bond index, which ended its most recent streak of declines at nine weeks, two weeks ago, rose two basis points this week, to 7.02% from 7.00%.
The yield to maturity of the 40 bonds used to calculate the daily Municipal Bond Index was 6.97%, down one basis point from 6.98% from I-st Thursday.
The latest 11-week decline in the GO indexes lasted from June 13 to Aug. 26, and added up to a cumulative decline of 34 basis points, or 4.7%, for the 20-bond index, and 32 basis points, or 4.5%, for the 11-bond index. In 1953, the 11-week streak for the two indexes ran from Sept. 10 through Nov. 19 and resulted in a cumulative decline of 32 basis points to 2.90%, or 11%, for the 20-bond index, and 34 basis points to 2.41, or 12.4%, for the 11-bond index.
Secondary market activity in municipals was extremely light during the post-Labor Day week. Tax-exempt prices did not sink as much as U.S. government securities Tuesday, when new economic data indicated a stronger economy. The Treasury's bellwether 30-year bond increased 11 basis points in yield during the week, to 8.09% from 7.98% a week ago.
On Tuesday, the government released data showing new construction spending advanced 1.6% in July, and the National Association of Purchasing Management Index showed that the U.S. manufacturing economy expanded for a third consecutive month in August.
Trading in municipals and governments came to a virtual halt after that, waiting for today's unemployment data. "The market wants to see tomorrow's $(unemployment$) numbers before it moves ahead," a Treasury note trader said yesterday.
Governments traders said the small decline at the long end just showed people were reducing their positions ahead of the jobs report. "People are nervous about tomorrow's numbers and if they've been long, they want to take some profits," a coupon trader said.
In the short-term market. The Bond Buyer's one-year note index fell two basis points, to 4.85% from 4.87.