Stocks Edge Up amid Housing, Merger News

An unexpected rise in existing home sales and merger speculation capped a positive week for the major indexes

Stocks finished a volatile week on a positive note, thanks to an unexpected rise in existing home sales, merger speculation and Thursday's announcement from private equity firm Blackstone Group about its plans for a $4 billion IPO. But the market is still without a clear picture as to where the economy is headed -- and if interest rates are about to rise or fall, notes Standard & Poor's MarketScope.

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