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DLJ Direct site down for second day in a row

Customers of the online brokerage company are prevented from making trades online as the company cites "technical difficulties" for the outage.

For the second day in a row, customers of online brokerage DLJ Direct were prevented from making trades via the Web site.

This morning, a message posted on DLJ Direct's site informed customers that the company was "experiencing technical difficulties" and advised them to call a DLJ Direct representative if they wanted to make a trade.

DLJ Direct representative Linda Finnerty confirmed that DLJ Direct was experiencing system problems that kept customers from seeing certain kinds of information such as quotes and dividends, but said customers were able to make trades.

Finnerty said that the message on the Web site this morning was inadvertently left posted from yesterday when the site was down more than two hours.

Many customers, believing the message to be accurate, told CNET News.com that they held off making trades. As of 10 a.m. PST, some DLJ Direct customers said they were still barred from making some trades.

"You can purchase a stock, but you can't update your portfolio," said Saeed Mohammad. "That means you can't sell the stock online, and you're stuck holding it."

Yesterday morning, DLJ Direct, the Internet unit of investment bank Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, experienced a glitch that knocked out its Web site and automated telephone-trading system. To make a trade, customers were forced to call a DLJ Direct representative, but the hold times were as long as 30 minutes.

DLJ Direct said the company's "clearing vendor," the firm that DLJ Direct uses to help execute trades and some backend systems, was experiencing computer glitches.

As online trading attracts a growing number of investors, the pressure on Web sites has pushed many operating systems to their limits.

Last Wednesday, Charles Schwab suffered an hour-long outage of its Web site and automated telephone system.

DLJ Direct was one of the first online brokerage houses, launching an online financial network more than a decade ago. The company has more than 347,000 active customers.