The next few days are expected to be painfully slow in the tax-exempt market as traders slip away for the holidays. There were spurts of activity Wednesday morning, but by afternoon muni activity slowed to a crawl.

“Bottom line, it’s just shutting down,” a trader in Chicago said. “It is the slowest year in five or six years and part of it is, what are customers really going to do? A lot of the time [in previous years] you get tons of losses or gains.”

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