Bank stocks slipped back as investors took profits and considered the dizzying array of merger proposals that are now before them.

Bankers Trust New York Corp. lost $4.50, to $131.8125; Chase Manhattan Corp. slipped $3.5626, to $136.50; J.P. Morgan & Co. shed $5.25, to $137.375; and Wells Fargo & Co. dropped back $5.875, to $374.4375.

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