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May 31, 1999

Day Trading: Will They or Won't They?

By William Hoffman

We've heard those rumors, too, about U.S. Senate hearings into day trading activities and operations. And after extensive research among members and staff on Capitol Hill this reporter can report - they've heard the rumors, too.

"We're continuing to examine options for future hearings," was as far as Kirk Walder, investigator at the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations at the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, would say about reports that this summer the Senate would call witnesses to testify about day trading.

"There are a variety of issues that came up at the previous hearings, and we're continuing to examine problems with online trading," Walder said. The Senate panel held hearings March 22 and 23 on "Securities Fraud on the Internet."

James H. Lee, president of the Electronic Traders Association and co-owner of Momentum Securities in Houston, said he'd heard the hearings rumors. But he was comforted by recent published reports in which Banking Committee chairman Sen. Phil Gramm was quoted referring to Lee as "the missile defense system against all incoming legislation against electronic trading."