News on Monday of a merger deal between Washington Mutual Inc. and Bank United Corp. had little impact on other thrifts' shares.

Thrifts were trading lower after the announcement that Washington Mutual, of Seattle, had a deal to buy the Houston thrift for $1.5 billion. Analysts said the weak trading had more to do with "a slow Monday in August" than with the merger, and they argued that interest rates rather than consolidation will determine the direction for thrift stocks.

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