From commuter trains to board rooms, New York City was abuzz last week with the news of the third giant Wall Street merger in two months: Chase Manhattan Corp. is buying J.P. Morgan & Co. for $33.6 billion in stock.

The latest blockbuster comes only two weeks after Credit Suisse First Boston announced its intent to buy Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette for $11.5 billion, and two months after UBS AG said it would buy PaineWebber Group for $10.8 billion.

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