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Brokerages: Merrill Lynch & Co. said earnings...

Brokerages: Merrill Lynch & Co. said earnings for the second quarter increased 31.2% to $70.2 million. The New York-based company held about $310 billion in client assets, up 6.9% from the same period a year ago. The firm cited growing confidence in the stock market for the rise in profit. New York-based Morgan Stanley Group Inc. said second-quarter earnings were down 17% to $112.1 million from a year ago. Revenue increased 44.6% to $1.5 billion. The company said interest expenses that more than doubled ate into its earnings. PaineWebber Group Inc. said second-quarter net income was $15.1 million, up from $159,000 a year ago. Revenue rose 8% to $433 million. The New York-based company said results reflect better market conditions combined with progress in improving the fundamental economics of the firm.


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