week when it dropped all fees for stock trades on Louisiana-based companies. Investors plowed $1.1 million into 92,000 shares of stock Nov. 16, when New Orleans-based First Commerce held its seventh annual "Buy Louisiana Stock Day." The turnout was 26% smaller than last year, according to First Commerce brokerage chief Dale Kaliszeski, but a record 171 new accounts were opened this year. Mr. Kaliszeski said that higher stock market prices probably kept some investors away, but the bank also dropped its newspaper advertisements for this year's promotion to cut costs. Bank stocks were the runaway favorites, with shares of First Commerce and Hibernia Corp. commanding top draw, followed by shares of McDermott International Inc., a manufacturer of offshore platforms and pipelines. The $8.4 billion-asset banking company's brokers also follow up by asking investors whether they would like to buy other investment products, including First Commerce's Marquis mutual funds.

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