A slightly better bid for municipals held the market within a familiar range yesterday despite the report of a surge in consumer confidence.

The credit markets edged lower at the opening as players anticipated indications of economic strength. The markets got what they expected from the Conference Board's closely-watched consumer confidence index. The index jumped to 80.2 in December from a revised 71.9 in November. The index of consumers' expectations for the economy rose to 91.9 from 80.3 in November, while the index that measures their view of the present economy rose to 62.6 from 59.2.

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