Bank stocks fell sharply Tuesday amid rumors that institutional investors were taking profits in preparation for yearend.

The Standard & Poor's bank index, which has rallied all year, fell 1.42%, while the S&P 500 Index rose 0.43%.

Some analysts attributed at least part of the selloff to Dean Witter, Discover & Co.'s earnings report which showed rising consumer credit problems.

Among credit card companies, MBNA Corp. fell $1.375 $31.125.

Chemical Banking Corp. fell $2.375 cents to $57. J.P. Morgan & Co. fell 1.625 to $77. Barnett Banks fell $1.125 to $58.125.

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