This week's new-issue market promises to make molasses look speedy. "Not a creature will be stirring, not even a mouse," Richard S. Barnett, director of corporate bond research at Yamaichi International (America) Inc., said Friday.

"There may be a couple [new offerings], but it's going to be a very, very quiet week," he said, adding that a number of market participants are on vacation and many accounts are closed. For Michael Dee, a principal in the corporate bond syndicate department at Morgan Stanley & Co., Wednesday's $150 million offering by Shawmut National Corp. was his last deal of the year.

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