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NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average notched a three-day win streak Monday for the first time in six weeks. A $19 billion corporate buying spree and encouraging economic news from Japan sent the Dow up 213 points and erased its losses from last week.

The return of what’s called “Merger Monday” on Wall Street made investors more optimistic about the future. So did a report that Japan’s economy shrank less than feared after the earthquake and tsunami there on March 11. That helped ease worries that the U.S. economy may slide into another recession.

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