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US stocks open higher, led by gains in energy companies; UnitedHealth rises on deal news

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NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are starting the week sharply higher, led by energy companies.

UnitedHealth Group jumped 4 percent early Monday after the nation's largest health insurer said it would buy pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran Corp.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 212 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,923 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,077. The Nasdaq composite climbed 37 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,929.

The price of oil rose 12 cents to $49 a barrel in New York.

Government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.95 percent from 1.97 percent late Friday.

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