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Local magnetoresistance (MR) and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) measurements on submicrometer Ni wires were performed by using an electrically conducting atomic force microscope tip as a sliding contact. It is found that large positive jumps in the MR curves across the full wires are due to the presence of domain walls related to different diameters of the wire. Directly at the same position of the sliding contact for the MR the magnetic characterization was performed by scanning, thermally modulated FMR. The anisotropy fields, in particular the ratio of the radial anisotropy and the shape anisotropy, change for the constricted portion of the Ni wire. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.