If you're interested in learning more about municipal bonds and our upcoming premium service Muni Markets Daily, email us at email@example.com.Municipal bonds declined more today than the market has in several weeks as the largest single day of new issuance so far this year proved to be too much of a burden. New-issue volume was at its highest of 2009 totaling just south of $3.5 billion. The primary market was led by a $1 billion offering from the State of Wisconsin. In terms of day-to-day total returns: The high-grade, short end of the curve showed a total return of negative 0.17%, according to Municipal Market Advisors (MMA) data. The high-grade, intermediate part of the curve showed a total return of negative 0.51%. The high-grade, long end of the curve showed a total return of negative 0.67%. The high-grade marketplace of bonds rated double-A or better showed some real signs of strain in both new-issue pricings as well as secondary transactions. It appears that all the fretting by market participants earlier this week about the volume of new deals was spot on. Underwriters said that deals had to be cheapened in order to find enough buyers to close deals out. However these cheap clearing levels also acted to reprice most outstanding bonds and made for some poor trading levels. Absolute yield levels are entering a range where retail buyers are usually interested but for now they are holding out for this market to cheapen further. In the non-investment grade sector of non-rated bonds or triple-B and lower, bonds also performed poorly. The secondary market for these credits was not active. But in the primary, Detroit, Mich., sold $120 million of A-rated water revenue bonds yielding 5% in 10 years that were also wrapped with bond insurance by Financial Security Assurance Inc.