Amsouth Bancorp. shares were upgraded to "buy" Friday by Interstate Johnson Lane analyst John J. Mason, who said acquisitions were beginning to pay off for the Birmingham, Ala., bank and that the stock was relatively cheap.

Its shares rose 37.5 cents, to $52.25, as pessimism about interest rates continued to choke investment in the banking sector. While the Dow Jones industrial average recouped about 56 points of the 161 it had lost Thursday, a 0.82% gain, the S&P bank index was up less than 0.01%, to 514.44.

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