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Around the World's Markets: New York

MERGER NEWS outweighed concern over interest rates, leaving Wall Street slightly up in early trading. By midday the Dow was up four points at 11,082. The market was sluggish on profit taking after Friday's rally.

Wall Street welcomed news that Viacom would buy CBS in a $37bn stock deal - the largest media transaction ever. Shares in Viacom were up 7 per cent and CBS was up 2 per cent. Hilton Hotels said it would buy Promus Hotel in a deal worth about $4bn; Promus rose 11 per cent and Hilton fell 8 per cent.