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Stocks open higher following deal news

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are rising after oil prices stabilized and corporations announced another round of big deals.
Hospital owner Ventas Inc. said it would buy Nationwide Health Properties Inc. in a $5.8 billion deal, creating the nation's largest health care real-estate investment trust. The deal came just two days after Warren Buffett said in his annual letter to investors that he is "itchy" to make more big acquisitions for his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The government reports that Americans boosted their spending only slightly last month. This, despite a tax cut that gave consumers the biggest jump in their incomes in nearly two years.
It's a sign that many people are uncertain about the strength of the economy.
The Commerce Department says that consumers increased spending 0.2 percent in January, the smallest gain since June.

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