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COMMODITIES DRIVE UP MARKETS

NEW YORK - Rising commodities prices and stirrings of corporate takeovers are making investors more optimistic about the economy.

Stocks rose for the third straight day Tuesday as gold topped $1,000 an ounce for the first time since February and oil jumped more than $3 a barrel. The rising prices helped lift material and energy stocks.

Talk of a revival in corporate dealmaking also boosted the mood on Wall Street. A takeover bid from Kraft Foods Inc. for rival Cadbury PLC - even though Cadbury rejected it - combined with a big phone deal in England lifted hopes that takeover activity could be picking up.

Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom said they planned to combine their British mobile phone units to form that country's biggest mobile operator.

A weekend pledge by the world's 20 biggest economies to support the global recovery with stimulus efforts also helped keep the market's tone positive.

Tom Phillips, president of TS Phillips Investments in Oklahoma City, said investors are buying gold as they buy stocks because they are nervous about the economy and rising deficits but don't want to miss more gains in the stock market. The S&P 500 index has jumped 50 percent from a 12-year low in early March.

"It is a flight to safety. It's kind of like everyone is hedging their bets. They want to be in the market because they don't want to miss out, but they're spooked," he said.

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