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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 19, 2005
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Stocks rise on merger, retail news...
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NEW YORK Stock prices closed solidly higher on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95 points to ten-thousand-638. Gainers on the New York Stock Exchange outnumbered losers by better than a two-to-one margin.

The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 20 points at 21-hundred-48.

And the Standard-and-Poor's 500 Stock Index was up ten points at eleven-hundred-98.

Trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled one-point-four (b) billion shares. Volume on the Nasdaq Market came to one-point-nine (b) billion shares.

Investors welcomed the end of a bitter battle that had continued for 18 months as Oracle fought to acquire PeopleSoft. A better-than-expected report on retail sales also helped the markets.

Oracle said it raised its offer by ten percent and PeopleSoft accepted. The deal values the rival software company at ten-point-three (b) billion dollars.

Wall Street also applauded the Commerce Department's report that November retail sales rose one-tenth of a percent, better than the flat sales economists had expected.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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