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Wall Street Stays Positive on Muni Debt as Retail Buyers Retreat

  • State, local bond sales to pick up, with credit ratings solid
  • Investors waver as imminent Fed rate increases sour demand

The optimism Wall Street has for municipal bonds this year remains intact, even if the promise of higher interest rates is hitting munis almost as hard as other markets.

“There are aspects that are unique to the muni market and just looking at those, it’s poised to be a pretty good year,” said Daniel Solender, head of municipals at Lord Abbett & Co. “The economy is doing well, a lot of balance sheets are flush with cash from the stimulus. The true wild card is what is going to happen with rates.”