Rite Aid Corp. shares rocketed 40% in early afternoon trade Tuesday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is close to a deal to buy its rival. A deal would unite the second and third-biggest drugstore chains in the U.S., said the paper, which cited people familiar with the matter. Walgreens purchased another U.S. drugstore chain, Duane Reade, in 2010. The company closed the acquisition of UK chain Boots Alliance in December of 2014. Walgreens shares were up 4.7% and are up 22.7% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.2%.
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