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Upbeat Start for Stocks

Another decline in oil prices and a drop in durable-goods orders that wasn't as bad as expected help the major averages in New York rise early Wednesday.

Updated from 8:08 a.m. EDT

Stocks in New York were buoyant at the open Wednesday as oil pulled back for a second day and durable-goods orders showed a decline that was far less severe than expected.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

climbed 32 points to 12,581, and the

S&P 500

rose 4 points to 1389. The

Nasdaq Composite

was better by 8 points at 2489. All were higher by around 0.3%.

As the new day began, oil stayed on a downward track following Tuesday's declines and, at one point, reached a one-week low of $126.37 a barrel. Recently, futures were losing $1.73 to $127.12. The

United States Oil

(USO) - Get United States Oil Fund LP Report

exchange-traded fund was down 2%.

Traders were also getting help from a Commerce Department report that total orders of durable goods -- those whose designed to last three years or more -- fell just 0.5% sequentially last month. That's a bit worse than the prior month's 0.3% slip, but economists were expecting a 1.5% drop.

Gold futures, meanwhile, were down $16.50 to $891.40. The U.S. dollar firmed by 0.2% against the euro to $1.5669 and added 0.4% against the yen to fetch 104.71.

On the corporate front, after the prior market close

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Archer Daniels Midland

(ADM) - Get Archer-Daniels-Midland Company Report

said it was offering up to 35 million equity units for $50 apiece in an effort to raise $2 billion.

Elsewhere, a German business paper reported that Sweden's SEB and France-based BNP Paribas and Societe Generale might be interested in trying to acquire


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

Citibank unit. The banks are also reportedly Deutsche Postbank and



Dresdner Bank.

Meanwhile, merger discussions between United Airlines operator




US Airways


evidently have fallen apart,


reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the talks.


(UPS) - Get United Parcel Service, Inc. Class B Report

was one of the early winners, gaining 3.3% after saying it's pursuing an agreement to provide transportation in its air network for all of DHL's express, deferred and international package volume within the U.S. UPS also would provide airlift for DHL packages between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Also, a Detroit paper reported that carmaker


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

plans to slash its salaried work force by up to 12% as the company suffers from harsh economic conditions. Shares of Ford were up almost 3%.

Treasury prices were little changed. The 10-year note was flat in price to yield 3.92%, and the 30-year bond dipped 1/32 in price, yielding 4.64%.

Markets abroad were mixed. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 sank 1.3% overnight, and the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%. Europe fared better however, as London's FTSE 100 rose 0.2% and Germany's Xetra Dax jumped 1.1%. The Paris Cac was up 1.4%.