Stocks End Higher on Merger News

Deal news sparked buying, while wholesale inflation surged and Greenspan warned about the spread of subprime problems

Stocks gained ground Thursday thanks to brisk merger activity, along with a report showing foreigners buying U.S. securities. A jump in wholesale inflation didn't hold down prices for long in early trading. And the market dipped in the early afternoon following comments from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said he thinks the subprime loan problem could spread, but it hasn't hurt the consumer yet, but quickly recovered. Today's economic data is likely to keep the Federal Reserve on hold at next week's policy meeting, says Standard & Poor's Equity Research.

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