While most fixed-income sectors suffered from volatility, the asset-backed securities market enjoyed healthy issuance, as ABS deal flowed, particularly, within the Rule 144A market was notably strong.

According to sources at Moody's Investors Service, 13 deals representing a volume of $2 billion were recorded in the Rule 144A ABS market, including home equity.

"Volatility in the equity market has made bond investors cautious, damping demand for new deals," said one source in a prepared statement. "But the general slowdown has benefitted asset-backeds."

Investors looked favorably upon a number of characteristics of ABS transactions including shorter maturities, high credit ratings, and the possibility to pick up floating rate opportunities.

According to published reports, a total of $15.3 billion overall was sold in the ABS market during the month of April. That total is over three times the $5 billion issued the same month in 1999.

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