Shares of several midsize banks jumped sharply Monday in the wake of Firstar Corp.'s deal to acquire Mercantile Bancorp. of St. Louis.

Analysts said the $10 billion deal, announced after the close of trading Friday, signaled that banks are back in a dealmaking mode now that year- 2000 computer preparation has become less of a preoccupation. And some said the Firstar-Mercantile deal may be the first in a spate of mergers as bankers scurry to get deals done before new financial accounting rules take effect within two years.

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