Worthen Banking Corp., Little Rock, was sharply higher Friday on takeover speculation. The stock jumped $2.50 to $27.25, a new 52-week high, on heavy volume.

Other banks, as well as stock and bond prices generally, were weaker amid profit taking activity at the end of the week's rally. The S&P 500 stock index was off 1.56 to 454.92.

Analysts said the Worthen activity was linked to the departure of John Heischauer Jr., formerly chief executive of its lead bank. He is taking a comparable job at Worthen's crosstown rival, First Commercial Corp.

Investors reason that the move means Worthen is a more likely takeover candidate than First Commercial.

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