Bank stocks were mostly lower in line with other equities, as investors searched for economic clues amid preholiday trading.

First Interstate Bancorp was down 75 cents to $61.625, and Chemical Banking Corp. was off 50 cents to $40.125. PNC Bank Corp. was down 50 cents to $29.50 and Mellon Bank Corp. slipped 87.5 cents to $57.25 in late trading.

Among the few gainers in the session, Fifth Third Bancorp was up 75 cents to $54, Meridian Bancorp. was ahead 62.5 cents to $33.25, while Shawmut National Corp. advanced 25 cents to $24.125.

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