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Q: In the financials, your outlook for PNC Financial Services Group (PNC )? Is this a possible takeover candidate?

A: We have an avoid recommendation on PNC. We're concerned about the recently announced deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Dept. As a result, the company will take a $120 million pretax charge for the quarter endedyesterday. We currently view the stock as a below-average performer.

Q: So what are the strong buys in the financial group?

A: We currently like Allstate (ALL ), AmSouth Bancorp (ASO ), Bank of America, Banknorth Group (BNK ), Capital One Finacial, Citigroup (


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