Hope for Europe crisis meeting lifts markets

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    NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are opening higher on hope that European officials will sign off on a plan to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

    European leaders are expected to finalize a new aid package for Greece at an emergency meeting Thursday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European officials want to tackle the “root” of the crisis by easing Greece’s debt burden.

    Express Scripts said it would buy Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion. The deal would combine the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits managers.

    Philip Morris International and Morgan Stanley are up sharply in early trading after their earnings results beat analysts’ estimates.

    The Dow Jones industrial average is up 29 points at 12,601. The S&P 500 index is up 6 points at 1,331. The Nasdaq is down 3 at 2,810.