Stocks Surge, S&P 500 Closes at Record High on Merger Deals

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Stocks surged on Monday, with the S&P 500 breaking through the 2,000 milestone, lifted by a round of corporate deals, including Burger King's move for Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Horton's.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 75 points higher, the S&P 500 rose 9 points for a record close of 1997.94 after breaking 2,000 earlier in the session. The Nasdaq added 18 points. Burger King Worldwide shares surged 19 percent after it said it is in talks to combine with Tim Hortons, whose stock rose 18 percent. In other merger news, Switzerland's Roche Holding said it has agreed to acquire U.S. biotechnology company InterMune for $8.3 billion. The market optimism was also fueled by hope the European Central Bank would embark on further moves to stimulate the European economy. Remarks on Friday by ECB President Mario Draghi at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, meeting of central bankers heightened expectations of additional policy easing.

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- Kate Gibson,