A few bank stocks roared back to within inches of their 52-week highs early this week as the market rebounded. But First Tennessee Corp. was already there and escaped with less damage than most in Wednesday's 11th- hour market rout.

The $18 billion-asset banking company, based in Memphis, is one of a handful of top-50 banks that hit new highs over the past wee. Its stock closed Friday at $39.4375. Others in this select group include Chase Manhattan Corp., State Street Corp., and Northern Trust Corp., which set records in Monday's rally.

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