M&A REVIEW - SPECIAL REPORT

Prices paid in bank mergers rose sharply during the third quarter, as detailed in the quarterly review of bank merger activity. The biggest deal was the planned sale of Barnett Banks to NationsBank, prompting Wall Street speculation about buyers and prices for the industry's remaining "trophy franchises." Page 23

WASHINGTON

Veterans of the 1987 market crash said the market's rebound shows that the U.S. financial system was much better prepared but is increasingly susceptible to world economic changes. Page 2

REGIONAL BANKING

BankAmerica created an opportunity for competitors when it said it was ending its agreement to run branches in Chicago's biggest supermarket chain. Page 5

TECHNOLOGY

Internet merchants are digging into their bags of marketing tricks to find rewards like frequent-flier miles that might persuade Web browsers to shop in virtual stores. Page 7

COMMUNITY BANKING

Driven mainly by robust loan demand, third-quarter earnings were strong at most community banks. Page 8

CORPORATE FINANCE

This week's stock market volatility had little immediate impact on the bank loan market, but lenders said a continued slide in equities could have long-term repercussions. Page 9

MORTGAGES

Renowned leveraged buyout artist Thomas H. Lee scores again with the agreement to sell HomeSide to National Australia Bank. Page 13

CREDIT/DEBIT/ATMs

New federal regulations may put a damper on the pre-approved offers that have been a credit card marketing staple of the 1990s. Page 14

INVESTMENT PRODUCTS

Bankers are revving up their marketing engines to prepare customers for a prolonged period of market turmoil. Page 16

MARKET MONITOR

Orders to U.S. manufacturers for big-ticket goods fell in September - the first drop in three months and a sign that factory activity may be cooling, according to Commerce Department figures. Page 34

A J.P. Morgan analyst expressed concern about Fleet's deal to buy Advanta's credit card portfolio. Back page

WEEKLY REPORT: INTERNATIONAL

Although U.S.-based investment banking units of foreign banks have spent hundreds of millions to build up their operations, most have little to show for their efforts. Page 10

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