With just a few days left in February, it's likely the asset-backed commercial paper market will see its second straight month of contraction. Through last week the market was down about $17 billion from December's high of $726 billion (although the market did spike in early January to $740 billion before falling back for a month-end $724 billion).

In its February ABCP Paper Trail, Fitch Ratings suggested that the market may see an uptick in activity as "investors pursue a source of stability and quality in the face of an impending Iraq confrontation."

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