Major corporations tend to avoid financial futures and options, relying instead on short-term financing to reduce risks when issuing new debt, a study by a business-supported research group said. The Conference Board report said futures and options have "won the hearts of institutional investors, money managers, arbitrageurs and others," but most companies prefer to use short-term financing, swaps of floating for fixed-rate payments and strategic timing. It said many top executives view futures and options as speculative and dangerous. Critics of the instruments blame heavy trading in equity futures for contributing to the Oct. 19 stock market collapse. The report found, however, that despite current corporate caution interest in the instruments appears to be growing.