WorldCom

(WCOM)

racked up a 4.1% gain in late afternoon trading as long-distance carriers broke free of their early slump.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

rose 3.1% and

Sprint

was up 2.4%. Baby Bells also shook off their morning downturn, with

Verizon

TheStreet Recommends

(VZ) - Get Report

up 2.9% and

SBC Communications

(SBC)

up 0.4%. Earnings jitters depressed mobile phone companies, however.

Ericsson

(ERICY)

was down 6.7% and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

fell 2.3%.