Chemical Banking Corp. shares rose sharply Monday on rumors that investor Warren Buffet has taken a 5% stake in the company.

Dan Dorfman, a syndicated columnist for USA Today, reported the rumors on a TV news program. Chemical shares shot up $2.125 on volume of 1.33 million, closing at $33.50.

Spokesmen for Chemical and Berkshire Hathaway, Mr. Buffett's investment company, had no comment. The Omaha-based firm had not filed a disclosure statement on any Chemical holding as of early Monday, according to States News Service.

Analysts said that Chemical's stock may have risen partly on news of positive earnings reports from Chase Manhattan Corp. and other banks in the third quarter.

Chemical, the nation's third-largest bank company, is expected to report its results today.

Mr. Buffett, a legendary investor, has been sending out upbeat signals on many banks. He recently lifted his stake in Wells Fargo & Co. to 11.85%.

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