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One of this year's big losers, hits 52-week high

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This year has seen many bankruptcies take place in the telecommunications area and while WorldCom's bankruptcy filing this year marked one of the largest in U.S. history, investors may be getting a first look at a bankrupt company coming out of reorganization with a relatively clean balance sheet and little debt.

Share of WilTel (NASDAQ:WTEL) $15.19 +3.26%, formerly known as Williams Communications, is hitting a 52-week high today after recently being brought public again. The company has just emerged from Chapter 11 in October with a new $375 million credit facility and no other substantial debt obligations other than those related to its corporate headquarters building.

Under the plan of reorganization, Williams Communications shares were cancelled and 50 million new shares were issued, of which unsecured creditors received 54%. Unfortunately for many "old" shareholders of Williams Communications, they hold at best an expensive conversation piece of what was, but will never be again.

Still, with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for WilTel (WTEL) a thing of the past, a currently reduced "debt free" look gives the company a new outlook and hopefully a historical blueprint of what not to do in the future to once again hold a longer-term viable investment.

As today's action nears and end, sector action remains mixed, but a slightly more bullish tone has started to unfold in the major indexes as the Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,356 +0.63% has built a session-best 52-point gain and moved above our intra-day pivot level of 8,346.

The same is true for both the S&P 500 Index (SPX.X) 881 +0.67% and S&P 100 Index (OEX.X) 446 +0.66% as they have edged above their respective daily pivots of 879.83 and 445.41. On a short- term basis and leading into tomorrow, closes above these pivots would bode well for some continued short-term bullish into the new year, which begins on Thursday, January 2, 2003.

Only the more tech-heavy NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 993.58 -0.42%, which has tried to battle back from earlier lows of 981 remains below its daily pivot, and perhaps begins to take on the "tail of the snake" scenario with respect to a lagging index as its intra- day pivot of 1,004.04 has not yet been tested.

Technology sector action remains weak with Disk Drive (DDX.X) 67.46 -2.07%, Fiber Optic (FOP.X) 44.49 -2.15% and Wireless Telecom (YLX.X) 50.40 -1.88% being technology sector laggards.

On the upside, Retailing ($RLX.X) 267.24 +2.33% is today's sector winner, with Drugs (DRG.X) 297.87 +1.6% helping bolster SPX and OEX gains.

Jeff Bailey

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