New Jersey and California are both attracting investors in their general obligation debt, even as their credit ratings move in opposite directions. Yield-hungry investors are buying New Jersey at wider spreads, while conservative-minded buyers are seeking out fiscally-healthier California for its improving safety.

Spreads on New Jersey GOs have widened after it was placed on Credit Watch by Standard & Poor's earlier this year, while California GOs have seen a significant spread tightening over the last year, aided by a recent upgrade also by Standard & Poor's.

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