Talk of more corporate deals sends stocks higher

AP News
Posted: Feb 19, 2013 9:46 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Talk of more merger and acquisitions is sending stock prices slightly 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 shortly after several big corporate deals were announced in recent weeks. Both stocks were up sharply in early trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up seven points at 13,988 shortly after the opening bell Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three to 1,523. The Nasdaq composite also rose three points to 3,195.

Markets were higher in Europe following news that the German economy is picking up steam. Indexes rose about 1 percent in Germany, France and Britain.

Asian markets were mostly down because of concerns about Chinese real estate curbs.