Though Verne G. Istock is still considered to be a contender to permanently succeed retired Bank One Corp. chief executive officer John B. McCoy, market watchers said Tuesday that they are increasingly convinced the board of directors will choose a leader from outside the Chicago banking company.

"Doing the right thing is on the board's mind," said Lori Appelbaum, an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. "The sense is that a broader search is being conducted."

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