have performed better than they did in 1998 -- and better than other financial stocks.

The top 26 mortgage REIT stocks produced a total return (taking into account both price appreciation and dividends) of 5.53% through Sept. 22, after posting a return of negative 44.51% for all of last year. For the same period this year the American Banker index of bank stocks fell 10.3%, the American Banker thrift index 17.24%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index 6.6%.

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