Buying the Banks

Their stocks offer bargains, whether or not the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates this week

This schizophrenic stock market keeps offering us the chance to buy great companies at good prices, as one sector after another rapidly rotates from favored to hated. Now in the doghouse, for no good reason, are the banks. Two weeks ago, mutual funds and other big investors decided these stocks had become "must owns," given the Federal Reserve's new bias toward easier credit. Shares of the Chases and Citigroups were flying out the door. An index of bank stocks peaked in July at 932, then plummeted to 592 in early October before vaulting back to 789 on Nov. 5, after the...

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