The tax-exempt market got off to a stronger start Tuesday morning as traders said it was the last chance to get anything done before the market starts to slow for the holiday.

The week's biggest deal in the primary market priced Monday while the remainder of the larger deals are expected to price Tuesday.

"It's a bit busy," a New York trader said. "People are getting things done before Thanksgiving."

In the primary market, JPMorgan is expected to price for institutions $143.5 million of Connecticut Housing Finance Authority housing mortgage finance program bonds, following a retail order period Monday. The bonds are rated triple-A by Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

RBC Capital Markets is expected to price $128.7 million of Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Rochester Institute of Technology revenue bonds, rated A1 by Moody's.

Jefferies & Co. is expected to price for institutions $90 million of University of Connecticut bonds, rated Aa2 by Moody's and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's, following a retail order period Monday.

The Municipal Market Data scale had set new record low yields with each passing day throughout the past week but took a breather Monday.

The 10-year yield held steady at 1.50%, its record low set Friday. That record beat the previous record of 1.51% set Thursday. Before that, the MMD record was 1.54% set Wednesday and the 1.55% set last Tuesday.

The 30-year MMD yield also remained unchanged Monday, holding steady at its record low yield of 2.54% set Friday. The previous record was 2.55% set Thursday and before that, 2.60% set Wednesday and 2.64% set last Tuesday.

The two-year finished steady at 0.30% for the 37th consecutive trading session.

Treasuries weakened for a second session Tuesday as fears over Europe and the fiscal cliff subsided. The two-year and 30-year yield increased two basis points each to 0.26% and 2.78%, respectively. The benchmark 10-year yield jumped three basis points to 1.64%.

In economic news, housing starts rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 in October. Building permits slipped 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 866,000.

Housing starts exceeded the 840,000 expected by economists and were the highest since starts came in at 923,000 in July 2008. Building permits came right in at economists' expectations of 865,000.

"More evidence that the housing recovery is running somewhat ahead of our expectations, although the increase in housing starts in October came from an 11.9% increase in multi-family starts following a 26.4% increase in these starts in September," wrote economists at RDQ Economics. "It seems likely to us that housing construction will add modestly to GDP over the next two quarters based on the homes that have already been started and, if we avoid the fiscal cliff, that housing construction will be a factor adding to growth over the next year."

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