The share price of First Union Corp. may finally have found the bottom. Despite months of distress - including, most recently, the news that its 2000 earnings would be lower than expected - the stock showed relative strength Thursday.

In early trading the Charlotte, N.C., banking company's shares were up a tad, even when just about all other banks were down. Later in the day the stock price declined, but the percentage drop was only half that of the 30 institutions in the Standard & Poor's bank index. At the close, the stock was unchanged, and the American Banker index of the nation's 50 largest banks was down 2.1%.

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