The asset-backed market took a bit of a break last week, as it awaited news from the Federal Open Market Committee that short-term interest rates would be slashed by another 50 basis points, and geared up for the Arizona conferences taking place this week (see story, p.3).

"There's still a lot of pent-up demand from the end of last year, but everyone was waiting to see what happened in the markets," said Russell Hurst, director, asset-backed research at First Union.

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