Shares of Dow Chemical and DuPont are trading sharply higher amid reports that the two chemical giants are in advanced merger discussions.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Tuesday that the companies were planning to merge and to then split into three companies focused on agriculture, specialty chemicals and materials.

Shares of The Dow Chemical Co. based in Midland, Michigan, rose 11 percent to $56.48 in early trading Wednesday. Shares at one point hit an all-time high of $56.88. Shares of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., based in Wilmington, Delaware, rose 12.5 percent to $74.88.

Multiple media outlets say the two companies, both of which have a strong presence in the agriculture sector, were discussing a merger, with an official announcement possible as early as Thursday.