Much has been said about the municipal bond market during 2011. The year started with attention-grabbing forecasts for "hundreds of billions" of dollars in defaults as cities and states faced growing budget deficits and underfunded long-term liabilities. More recently, certain segments of the muni market had their credit ratings downgraded following the downgrade of the federal government.

Still, investors are recognizing the attractive valuations of those securities and the market for tax-exempt securities has stabilized amid steady improvements in municipalities' fiscal situations.

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