U.S. stocks advance on merger news, drop in oil


(Updates to midmorning) By Jennifer Coogan NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday amid news about several acquisition deals and a decline in oil prices. The blue-chip Dow gained from Johnson & Johnson's announcement that it expects a decision in October on whether the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will approve its planned acquisition of Guidant Corp. . [ID:nWEN8017] Johnson & Johnson shares rose 0.7 percent to $62.68 on the New York Stock Exchange. ...

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