The typical quarter-end rush was in full effect last week, with more than $20 billion of U.S. ABS new-issue supply. In all, the market saw offerings in the auto, credit card, home equity and foreign MBS sectors, with more than half of the supply in the mortgage-related sector. In an unprecedented sign, investors saw multiple transactions from three issuers, as well as a pair of different dealer shelves offering bonds backed by the same originator.

As of press time last week, U.S. ABS supply sat at more than $155 billion, up from $115 billion through the end of 1Q03. Of this year's total, $81 billion, or 53%, has been in the mortgage ABS sector, versus the $62 billion over the same period last year.

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