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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For the second time in as many weeks, buyout rumors drove shares of Commercial Metals (CMC) sharply higher, with mini-mill operator Nucor (NUE) the alleged pursuer.

Tuesday afternoon, Commercial Metals' stock had advanced 7%, or $1.14, to $17.39, on volume of 5.4 million shares. Daily turnover has averaged 2.3 million.

Nucor was once again in the middle of the speculation, according to an item on the Web site


On Feb. 22, Commercial Metals shares

jumped as much 14% on takeover speculation

. That time, Nucor and

Gerdau Ameristeel

( GNA), the U.S.-based steelmaker controlled by Brazil's

Gerdau SA

, were singled out as the potential acquirers.

Analysts then downplayed the speculation, skeptical that any buyer would have an interest in the uncertain state of Commercial Metals' core business: steel for the still-depressed construction industry. The company's shares have fallen in concert with its customer base; in the summer of 2008, they were trading near $40.

The steel sector has been rife with M&A scuttlebutt of late, and Nucor has had a place in it all. Last week,

AK Steel


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spiked on the notion that the West Chester, Ohio, company was in play


Nucor's recent formation of a joint venture with Japan's


, which plans to "invest in various steel and steel related activities," appeared to fan the speculative flames.

The rumors also pegged another Brazilian steel company,

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional


, or CNC, as having an interest in AK Steel.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York


>>Commercial Metals up on Takeout Rumor

>>AK Steel Spikes on Buyout Rumor

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.