The ascent of First Interstate Bancorp shares toward the $90 price range stalled, but only momentarily, after Alison A. Deans of Smith Barney Shearson cut her rating to "neutral," from "outperform."

"At this point, I'd be a holder, but I wouldn't put new money into it," Ms. Deans said. The analyst had advocated adding to positions in First Interstate until the stock reached the low $80 range. She said she decided to cut her rating when the stock price rose $1.125 Tuesday, to close at $81.

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