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SEC INVESTIGATING PAINEWEBBER: The Securities and Exchange Commission, according to today's Wall Street Journal, is looking into whether PaineWebber improperly sold billions of dollars of limited partnerships to investors -- a potential scandal similar to one that scarred Prudential Securities. The SEC is investigating whether brokers made false and misleading statements and omitted facts regarding risks to investors in certain partnerships, sources close to the investigation told The Associated Press. PaineWebber says it is cooperating fully with the SEC's review. The SEC is also reportedly investigating partnership sales practices of other Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch & Co. The probe comes at a bad time for PaineWebber, which is in the process of acquiring Kidder, Peabody Group, Inc. and trying to retain Kidder brokers.