Merger Mania Lifts Stocks

Credit market fears took a back seat to good old-fashioned merger mania on Wednesday, as reports of talks between Ameritrade and E*Trade drove stocks higher.

Ameritrade shares jumped 5% on a report in the Wall Street Journal that it is in talks with E*Trade , and news that credit was flowing for blue chips boosted the broader market.

Tech Data surged 7% on blowout sales and guidance, while Blue Coat soared 29% on a 71% jump in sales.

Apple added 4% on European iPhone sales hopes.

CenturyTel gained 6.6% on a share buyback.

The Nasdaq surged 31 to 2552, the S&P 500 gained 17 to 1464, and the Dow rose 145 to 13,236. Volume rose to 3.25 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.84 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 26-6 margin on the NYSE, and 21-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 83% on the NYSE, and 81% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 24-74 on the NYSE, and 60-79 on the Nasdaq.

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