Wall Street shook off concerns about inflation and pushed stocks higher yesterday as a spate of merger news encouraged investors to return...

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NEW YORK — Wall Street shook off concerns about inflation and pushed stocks higher yesterday as a spate of merger news encouraged investors to return to the market. Rising oil prices, however, kept the gains in check.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.94, or 0.38 percent, to 10,384.34.

Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, lost 11 cents to close at $25.11 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, lost 45 cents to close at $60.56.

Broader stock indicators also made gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 7.49, or 0.64 percent, to 1,178.84. The Nasdaq composite index gained 12.32, or 0.63 percent, to 1,979.67.

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With a deal announced in the energy sector and talks among online brokerages, companies’ appetites for mergers and acquisitions remained healthy, showing corporate America’s confidence in the economy.

Oil prices surged past $52 per barrel as concerns about summer gasoline demand continued to plague the market. A barrel of light crude was quoted at $52.03, up $1.07, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The bond market moved lower as investors anticipated a larger surge in supply from a Treasury auction later in the week.

In merger news, Cinergy climbed $1.94 to $42.32 after it agreed to be acquired by Duke Energy for $9 billion, combining two of the biggest players in electricity and natural-gas transmission. The combined company will serve 5.4 million retail customers and have annual revenues of about $27 billion. Duke Energy lost 54 cents to $28.82.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported E-Trade Financial has made an unsolicited $5.5 billion takeover bid for rival Ameritrade Holding. E-Trade rose 77 cents to $12.70, while Ameritrade surged $2.11, or 18.7 percent, to $13.42.