Last week looked in danger of being an all-HEL, all the time sort of issuance period, but a mid-ticket equipment lease, a shipping container deal and a stubbornly inverted swaps spread curve intervened to break up the monotony.

In terms of spreads, several market conditions converged to force three-year, fixed-rate auto spreads out to eight basis points. Traders say it was a case of an inverted swaps curve, a precipitous fall-off of absolute rate levels and soft demand from investors who are too disinclined to spend a lot of money at the end of the year. These days, investors have pulled back from front-end, fixed-rate bonds, said one market source. What's more, according to one trader, is that two-year notes are offering yields that are five basis points higher than three-year notes.

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