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September 09, 2013 01:26 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

  • Mergers, homes and phones are giving the stock market a boost. Two big deals indicate growing confidence in the economy. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus was sold for $6 billion, and Koch Industries bought electronics component maker Molex for $7.2 billion. Apple rose on expectations a new iPhone will be unveiled tomorrow. And homebuilding stocks were some of the biggest gainers in the Standard & Poor's 500 index after Hovnavian Enterprises said home prices are rising and its backlog jumped almost 27 percent from a year earlier.
  • Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus is getting a new owner. Ares Management and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board have announced they're buying the luxury chain Neiman Marcus for $6 billion. The two new owners will hold an equal economic interest in Neiman Marcus, and the company's management will retain a minority stake. The deal comes as the luxury market is showing signs of a slowdown after rebounding from the Great Recession.
  • The world's shiniest, most advanced vehicles will be on display when the Frankfurt Auto Show opens this week. Some 70 models are set to premier, with a notable number of new cars powered either by batteries or hybrid gas-electric systems. There are also outlandish concept cars that flaunt technology and design but aren't intended for sale. The show is held every other year. The 2011 show drew nearly 1 million people.
  • Apple is expected to unveil its latest take on the iPhone tomorrow during an annual ritual that will probably cast a spotlight on the gadget maker's drive to regain market share and on its sluggish pace of innovation. Apple Inc. hasn't disclosed what's on the agenda for the coming-out party at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. But this is the time of year the company typically shows off the latest generation of the device that has reshaped the way people use computers since its debut in 2007. The iPhone has generated $88 billion in revenue during the past year.
  • The former director of the BBC has defended his tenure in front of British lawmakers probing large executive payoffs. Mark Thompson is now chief executive of The New York Times Co. He told Parliament's Public Accounts Committee the payoffs were "value for money" for the corporation over the long term. The BBC has been criticized for paying 25 million pounds, or about $39 million, to outgoing senior staff. That's about 2 million pounds more than their contracts required.
  • Business
  • Economy/Stocks

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