The major U.S. equity indices closed higher Wednesday after the government reported that companies' sales rose in January and on M&A news and speculation. The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories fell 0.2% in January after falling 1% in December. Companies' sales rose 1.3%, which is the 10th straight gain. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) is considering another acquisition in the U.S. and is looking for a retail bank that will give it more deposits and extend the presence of its Barclays Capital unit, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) is interested in U.S. banks with $10 billion in assets or more to add to its consumer lending business, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited James Westlake. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed 0.03% higher at 10,567.33, the S&P500 (INX) closed 0.45% higher at 1,145.61, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) closed 0.78% higher at 2,358.95.
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