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February 1, 1998

PaineWebber Desk Reduces Nasdaq Market-Making Roster

By Michael L. O'Reilly

PaineWebber stopped making markets in more than 200 Nasdaq stocks in the past twelve months, a source familiar with the New York-based firm's equity-trading desk said. The headcount is lower, however, than the number rumored earlier this month.

The source estimated that PaineWebber cut its list of Nasdaq stocks from 735 to 525 within the last year. The reduction was done gradually, and the firm had not cut stocks in recent months.

News of the cuts were first reported in Wall Street Letter, an industry newsletter.

The reduction in Nasdaq stocks may be part of a reorganization of PaineWebber's Nasdaq trading operations in recent months. As reported elsewhere, seven Nasdaq traders left the firm in November, including head trader Richard Bruno. PaineWebber refused to comment whether the resignations were forced or voluntary. Patrick Davis and William Heenan have succeeded Bruno as co-heads of over-the-counter trading.