http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/010622/n22520905_2.htmlsnip<<NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - LaBranche & Co. (NYSE:LAB - news), a New York Stock Exchange trading firm, on Friday said it expects second-quarter profits to fall short of expectations because of the continued stock market slump.The company, which acts as a share dealer for more than 500 Big Board stocks, forecast earnings of 26 to 30 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expect LaBranche to earn 29 to 40 cents per share, with a mean estimate of 33 cents.The lagging stock market -- which has seen a 0.7 percent drop in the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - news) and a 16.7 percent drop in the Nasdaq (^IXIC - news) so far this year -- has hamstrung trading desks throughout Wall Street. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MWD - news), a top U.S. investment bank, on Thursday said its second-quarter earnings dropped 36 percent as the weak stock market hurt share-trading revenues.>>LaBranche's warning also comes one day after Knight Trading Group Inc. (NasdaqNM:NITE - news), the largest Nasdaq share dealer, said it was considering cutting its U.S. stocks staff by 6 percent. Knight, which is also looking at other cost-cutting measures, said it had been hurt by the shift to trading stocks in pennies in place of traditional fractions.>>Donna
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