It almost made sense: a transaction between PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Regions Financial Corp., involving branches in Florida.

Between the pressure on Regions to repair itself and the growing sense that Florida is once again fertile ground for banking, all it took was an unsourced report that PNC is interested in Regions — posted on a local newspaper blog and amplified by a pickup from national news outlets — to generate a quick spike in Regions' stock early Wednesday.

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