Stocks Surge as Oil Prices Tumble

NEW YORK - Stocks are marching higher in early trading as oil prices plunge on reports that the Gulf Coast and its oil facilities have been spared heavy damage from Hurricane Gustav.

Light, sweet crude is down more than $8 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, easing Wall Street's concerns not only about Gustav, but also about inflation's impact on the broader economy.

The market's optimism is also being boosted by news that Korea Development Bank is in talks about taking part in a possible acquisition of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 193 at the 11,735 level.