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North American stocks rose at the start of trading on Tuesday, showing big gains for commodity producers following a massive takeover offer for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points or 0.5 per cent, to 10,349. The broader S&P 500 rose 7 points or 0.7 per cent, to 1086. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 75 points or 0.7 per cent, to 11,628.

Potash Corp. surged 25 per cent after it said it had received a $38.6-billion (U.S.) offer from BHP Billiton Ltd. The company's immediate rejection of the offer, along with a plan to prevent any shareholder from accumulating more than a 20-per-cent ownership stake, sent other fertilizer stocks higher. CF Industries Holdings Inc. rose 7.3 per cent and Agrium Inc. rose 5 per cent.

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Other materials stocks also moved higher. Alcoa Inc. rose 1.5 per cent and DuPont rose 1.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, investors cheered the latest round of earnings, which bring an unofficial close to the second-quarter earnings season in the United States. Home Depot Inc. rose 1.5 per cent and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 1.3 per cent after the two retailers reported gains in their respective earnings.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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