Updated from 1:20 p.m. EST

Shares of Rohm & Haas ( ROH) and Dow Chemical ( DOW) surged Friday on news that the two companies were discussing their disputed $15 billion merger, which was set for a trial Monday in Delaware.

Philadelphia-based Rohm & Hass was soaring 19%, or to $63.80, while Dow was up 9.9% to $7.11.

Dow said it would buy Rohm & Haas last summer. But the economy has deteriorated rapidly since then and a separate joint venture with a Kuwaiti company, from which Midland, Mich.-based Dow expected more than $7 billion, collapsed. Dow tried to put the deal on hold, which prompted the lawsuit by Rohm & Haas.

Other chemical companies moving higher were Ashland ( ASH), up 6.5% to $6.08, and Air Products & Chemicals ( APD), up 2.7% to $46.41. Air Products earlier this week reported that it had strengthened its U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network in Louisiana with a 37-mile extension.

Eastman Chemical ( EMN) was higher by 1.4% to $18.26. Eastman last month declared a dividend payable to common shareholders of 44 cents per share.

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