Shares of Alabama and Tennessee banks far outperformed those of money- centers and superregionals Tuesday as merger speculation focused on the South.

Shares of SouthTrust Corp., Birmingham, Ala., rose $2.125, to $61.375 on heavy volume. Regions Financial Corp., also of Birmingham, gained $1.875, to $44.75; and Union Planters Corp. of Memphis was up 81.25 cents, to $64.8125.

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