A question on the minds of Wall Street traders and analysts is how broker-dealers are handling their relationships with hedge funds since the bailout of Long-Term Capital Management and the auctioning of securities by hedge funds forced to meet margin calls.

Last week, in response to margin calls, Ellington Management of Old Greenwich, Conn., sold about two-thirds of the $1.5 billion of mortgage- backed securities it tried to auction during the Columbus Day holiday weekend, a spokesman for the firm said. It has done some additional selling since then, he added.

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