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Published: Tuesday, 2/19/2013

Talk of more corporate deals sends stocks higher

Investors hope that mergers will continue

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK  — Talk of more mergers and acquisitions is sending stock prices higher in early trading, setting the market up to continue a seven-week rally.

Reports that retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are discussing a combination come after several big corporate deals were announced in recent weeks. Investors are becoming optimistic that more deals could be on the way as buyers pay premium prices for publicly traded companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 54 points at 14,035 at midday today.

All 10 of the industry groups tracked by the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose, led by consumer staples.

The S&P 500 was up eight points at 1,527. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was up 12 points at 3,203. Google traded above $800 a share for the first time.



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