Stocks Rise on Deals, Lower Oil

Merger buzz bets weak economic data
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 3:24 PM CDT
A fuel pump displays the sale price after a trucker filled his truck with diesel fuel Tuesday, May 13, 2008, in Deer Park, Texas.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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(Newser) – Stocks rose for the fourth consecutive day today as deal-making buzz from Internet firms and a Tiffany’s-led retail rally offset a rise in weekly jobless claims and contraction in New York- and Philadelphia-region manufacturing, MarketWatch reports. The Dow rose 94.28, closing at 12,992.66, while the S&P 500 climbed 14.91 to settle at 1,423.75. The Nasdaq gained 37.03, to 2,533.73.

Tiffany’s boosted its dividend by 13% after posting Q1 earnings that beat forecasts. Crude oil prices rose nearly $2 early but fell back, settling at $124.02 per barrel, which spurred gains outside of the energy sector. Acquisitions by CBS (cNet), Comcast (Plaxo), and IAC (Lexico) raised hopes of more merger activity and drove online shares up.