News of the $1.5 billion revised merger plan between General Cinema Corp. and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. yesterday came as a few high-yield traders grumbled that some, including one institution, reportedly had early knowledge of the agreement.

"Somebody definitely knew something," one trader, who asked not to be named, said. "The bonds moved up five points two days before. That doesn't happen because somebody's got a hunch."

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