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Standard & Poor's issued monthly statement on taxable securities market

NEW YORK, November 8, 2004 – Standard & Poor’s Securities Evaluations has issued its monthly general taxable evaluations commentary provided by Ben Tepper, Lead Evaluator for Taxable Evaluations at Standard & Poor’s.

As expected, The Federal Reserve Bank left the Federal Funds Rate unchanged in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election; The Treasury Market traded in a tight range for the month of October. The slope of the yield curve was little changed for October. The 2Yr/10Yr, a proxy for the shape of the curve, declined 8 bps and the 10Yr/30Yr fell 1 bps. A Year ago the 2Yr/10Yr spread had been over 225 bps and now it has settled around 140 bps.

Fixed -rate 30Yr MBS gained about 1 ¼ points in dollar spread to Treasuries and 15 Yr appreciated by ¾ of a point. Spreads in the ARM Sector remained stable for the month. Newly issued 3/1ARMs traded around Z-spread levels of 60 bps, whereas 5/1 ARMS traded at around 80 bps. 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs are the most actively traded issues in the Adjustable Rate Mortgage Market.

Standard & Poor’s is a leading provider of independent fixed-income evaluations including 1.3 million hard-to-price securities including high yield, high grade, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities.