Underwriters bid aggressively for competitive deals yesterday, but secondary prices drifted lower in preemployment report doldrums.

The weak tone that has characterized trading during the past month carried over into yesterday's session. With little news to give prices direction, traders reported another lackluster session. Prices were unchanged, or slipped 1/8 to 3/8 point as the market continued to slog its way toward tomorrow's employment report. The report will provide the best hope for a reading of the market's near-term prospects.

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