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Bear Stearns Cuts Mortgage Jobs

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Bear Stearns Cuts Mortgage Jobs

Bear Stearns Cos. moved to cut jobs at two home-lending units because of the housing slump even as a 13 percent increase in shares of the fifth-largest U.S. securities firm signaled that it may be close to getting a cash infusion from an investor.

Encore Credit, a Bear Stearns subsidiary in Irvine, California, will eliminate 100 positions, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said yesterday. Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corp., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is reducing its workforce by 140, according to the person, who declined to be named because the number of jobs isn't being made public.

While the fallout from the subprime-mortgage crisis threatens to cut Bear Stearns's profit by as much as 13 percent this year, speculation is growing that the New York-based firm will find a partner willing to keep it financially healthy. Richard Bove, an analyst who worked with Bear Stearns President Alan Schwartz in the 1970s, said yesterday that the firm's rising share price made an agreement ``seem possible.'' .................more

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