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News Summary: Talk of mergers sends stocks higher

The Associated Press

MORE DEALS: Talk of more deal-making is sending stock prices higher Tuesday, putting the Dow Jones industrial average within reach of its record high. Reports that retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are discussing a merger come after big corporate deals were announced recently.

OVER THERE: Investors were also encouraged by news that the German economy is picking up steam. Indexes rose more than 1 percent in Germany and France.

FINAL SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 54 points to close at 14,036. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,531. The Nasdaq composite index 22 points to 3,214.