Can The Wells Fargo Wagon Roll Alone?

As its rivals merge, investors are getting antsy

Amid the latest round of bank mergers, one big player still stands apart--and industry watchers are itching to pair it up. According to a flurry of Oct. 5 news reports, San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co. might merge with First Union Corp. First Union quickly scotched the rumors, but there's no denying that Wells Fargo is unique in part because of what it's missing: The bank doesn't have a global presence, a big investment banking arm, or nationwide reach.

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