After suffering their worst setback since autumn 1987, brokerage stocks are staging a comeback.

Oct. 7 appears to have been the nadir for the sector. That day six major brokerages-Bear Stearns Cos., Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., and PaineWebber Group Inc.-established 52-week lows.

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