Institutional investors' optimism about the global economy has soared to its highest level in nearly six years, and portfolio managers are putting spare cash back into the stock market, according to the Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey.

Seventy-five percent of the 381 managers overseeing a combined $924 billion in assets said they believe the world economy will strengthen in the coming 12 months. It was the highest reading since November 2003 and up from 63% in July. In addition, 70% expect corporate profits to rise in the coming year, up fro 51% who thought so last month.

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