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U.S. stocks up sharply at midday

Pair of corporate deals, signs of strength in manufacturing boost market

  • Productivity-2

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, file photo, employees at Sheffield Platers Inc. work on the factory floor in San Diego. The government issues its second and final estimate of worker productivity and labor costs in the July-September quarter on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Wall-Street-Premarket-216

    FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. European markets brushed aside earlier weakness in Asia Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, as traders took in stride the prospect of a stimulus reduction from the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — Stocks are rallying at midday, powered by two big corporate deals and news that suggests the economy is getting stronger.

As of noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 145 points at 15,901. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 12 points to 1,787. The Nasdaq was higher by 29 points at 4,030.

All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 were higher, led by energy and technology.

LSI Corp. rose after chipmaker Avago Technologies said it was buying the company for $6.6 billion. AIG was up after it announced the sale of its aircraft leasing business for about $5.4 billion.

The Federal Reserve said factory production accelerated in November as auto production surged. The gains show manufacturing is strengthening and could help boost economic growth.

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