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Stocks turn mixed at midday as investors hope for another big pharmaceutical merger

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Stocks are mixed at midday as traders hope for another blockbuster deal in the health care industry.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 16,400 at 12 p.m. Eastern time Monday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged down one point, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,862. The Nasdaq composite dropped 26 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,049.

Pfizer led other health care companies higher after it renewed its push to buy British rival AstraZeneca. Pfizer rose 3 per cent.

Bank of America slid 5 per cent after the Federal Reserve forced the bank to suspend plans to increase its dividend and buy back more of its own stock.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.69 per cent.

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