COMMENTARY 
      The stock market rallied in the dog days of summer, taking investors on a wild 
      ride. After huge short positions sparked a 70.90-point gain on Aug. 24, the Dow 
      closed at 3913 on Aug. 31, its highest level since Feb. 22. Signs of slowing 
      economic growth helped, as inflation fears abated. The high-octane news: A 
      proposed $10 billion merger between Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. 
      That sparked a rise in defense stocks and fueled speculation of more merger and 
      acquisition activity.
      
      
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