Around the World's Markets: New York

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The Independent Online
THE DOW rose to within 40 points of its all-time record as share prices surged. The index rose by 170 points to hit 9,337.97 just after midday, just short of its July peak. Two potential mergers, between Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank, and between AOL and Netscape, fuelled the rise.

Analysts said the mergers were constricting the supply of stocks, forcing the index up as demand for shares grew. Financial and computer-related stocks led the charge.