A slow week of ABS new issuance was wrapping up last week as press time approached, with no new issues having priced as of late Thursday.

A few transactions were marketing, however, slated for pricing either last Friday or early this week. The most notable of these was a $455 million manufactured housing transaction from Conseco. Also, Morgan Stanley was making the rounds with a $424.5 million MSDW Capital home-equity deal.

The lack of large visible transactions left buyers to pick up paper in the secondary, syndicate sources noted; secondary trading has increased as new-issue volume has decreased over the past two weeks. For the most part, the primary market offered smaller transactions backed by fairly obscure collateral, such as food service trade receivables and manufactured housing liquidation-expense advanced collateral.

Conseco, with its first manufactured housing transaction of the year, was in the midst of a funding binge that would net the issuer approximately $1.7 billion over the next two weeks. In addition to the $455 million 2002-1 M.H. deal through Lehman Brothers, Conseco was marketing its 2002-2 liquidation-expense transaction via Credit Suisse First Boston and had plans to bring a home-equity deal via Merrill Lynch, which is expected to top $1 billion.

MSDW Capital launched a $424.5 million 2002-AM2 home equity offering, backed by Aames Financial-originated collateral. Morgan Stanley was leading the floating-rate deal, which consisted primarily of a triple-A-rated A1 class that was pre-placed to an undisclosed housing agency and therefore no data was available.

Also last week, Food Service of America, a unit of Austin, Texas-based Service Group, brought a $100 million floating-rate trade receivables deal underwritten by Banc of America Securities in the 144A market. The collateral consists of receivables originated by FSA, as well as sister company McCabe's Quality Foods.

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