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P. M. BRIEFING : Dean Witter Ends Computer Trades

<i> From Times wire service</i> s

Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., the Sears Roebuck & Co. brokerage unit, said today it no longer will handle computer program trading and criticized other stockbrokers who do.

A spokesman for the firm said Dean Witter pulled out of program trading because “it threatened the integrity of the market in customers’ minds.”

Blamed by some as the cause of stock market volatility around the time of the 1987 crash, program trading virtually disappeared for a time because of a self-imposed ban by Wall Street firms. But recently it has made a strong comeback.

But Dean Witter, which has never been a major participant in program trading, criticized the practice, saying “We are an honest broker and want to execute in the best interest of our customers. We don’t think program trading did that.”

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