Bank stocks were mixed in sluggish summer trading as investors tried to discern the strength and direction of the economy and the likelihood of further increases in interest rates.

First Interstate Bancorp registered the biggest move among major banks, falling $1.25 to $74.625 after announcing it would acquire Levy Bancorp, a California community bank holding company.

Meanwhile, NationsBank Corp. was off 75 cents to $55.125, BankAmerica Corp. slid 25 cents to $47.625, Bane One Corp. declined 25 cents to $33.125, and Keycorp fell 50 cents to $32.125.

Wells Fargo & Co., however, was up $1 to $157.

In the day's major economic news, the Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes fell 14.1% in June to a seasonally adjusted 591,000, the lowest level recorded in two years. -- Gordon Matthews

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