Shares of Staples Inc. soared 13% to a 3 1/2-month high in morning trade Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the office supply retailer was exploring a possible sale of the company. The stock, which traded at the highest level since Dec. 21, saw volume spike to 5.1 million shares within the first 15 minutes after the open, compared with the full-day average of 6.8 million shares. The WSJ report said Staples was in early talks with buyout firms, following the failed attempt to merge with rival Office Depot Inc. last year. The report said that based on typical takeover premiums, Staples could be valued at roughly $7 billion or more. The stock has now climbed 7.7% year to date, while Office Depot shares have gained 6.2% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 5.3%.
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