Profits won't meet last year's lavish levels, and brokerages are antsy about a possible market correction. One gambit: Go overseas

The market's rapid rise generated generous fees and commissions. That plus record levels of mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings helped pretax profits reach an estimated $11.5 billion, the highest ever. "This is heaven," says Salomon Brothers Inc. analyst Thomas Facciola. "It doesn't get any better."

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