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Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Have the Jitters?

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Just how bad are market jitters shaking Wall Street? Some clues are offered by the actions of two of the major wirehouses.

Merrill Lynch has purchased eight page ads running in both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times offering investors tips on how to "manage the bear." Mother Merrill shows a bear (rather than a bull) in the ads. The bear may make reappearance depending on the state of the market, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley is holding a "town hall meeting" tonight for its clients. Branch managers will be available at 100 locations across the nation to answer questions (and perhaps practice the century old ritual of "laying on of hands."

Among Morgan Stanley's speakers is Jeremy Siegel, Wharton Business School professor and author of Stocks for the Long Run. Philip Purcell, chair and ceo, will also be in attendance.

Both firms are taking the actions to reassure investors and restore confidence in their services. 

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