Stocks rise on mergers, home builder outlook

The stock market got a boost from mergers, homes, and phones.

Two big deals Monday suggested growing confidence in the economy: Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus was sold, and Koch Industries bought electronics component maker Molex for $7.2 billion.

Apple rose a day ahead of a new product announcement. Home-building stocks rose after Hovnavian Enterprises said home prices are increasing.

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 140.62 to close at 15,063.12. The S&P 500 rose 16.54 to 1,671.71. The Nasdaq rose 46.17 to 3,706.18.

P&C publisher is 1 of 10 to watch at news firms

P.J. Browning, the publisher of The Post and Courier, has been named one of “10 Women to Watch” in the news business by an industry publication. Editor & Publisher released its list last week.

“These female journalists, editors, executives, and company presidents are leaving their mark for the next generation of women who are eager to deliver news on whatever platform — and that is something worth watching,” the magazine said.

Browning, 48, was named publisher of The Post and Courier in August 2012. Previously, she was publisher of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Before that, she was a publisher at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.; The Sentinel in Carlisle, Pa.; and The Telegraph in Macon, Ga.

Neiman Marcus is to be sold in $6 billion deal

Luxury merchant Neiman Marcus is getting a new owner. Ares Management and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board said Monday they are buying the luxury retail chain for $6 billion. The new owners will hold an equal interest, and the company’s management will retain a minority stake.

The agreement follows an acquisition of another big luxury player: Saks Inc. recently agreed to sell itself to the parent of upscale retailer Lord & Taylor.

Borrowing among U.S. consumers rose in July

WASHINGTON — Americans cut back on using their credit cards in July for the second straight month, while taking on more debt to buy cars and attend school. The decline in credit card use suggests consumers remain cautious, a trend that could hold back economic growth.

Consumers increased their borrowing $10.4 billion in July from June to a record $2.85 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That followed a $11.9 billion gain in June.

A category that includes car and student loans increased $12.3 billion in July to a record $2 trillion. But a measure consumers’ credit card debt fell $1.8 billion to roughly $850 billion.

Food service operator Aramark to go public

PHILADELPHIA — Aramark Corp. has filed paperwork to take the food-service company public for its third time. The company first went private in 1984 to thwart a hostile takeover, then listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001. It was taken private in 2007.

Aramark did not specify the offering’s size or timing in a regulatory filing Monday. It plans to use proceeds to repay debt. The company provides food, uniforms and other services to schools, hospitals and businesses nationwide.

Gov’t floating rules for high-speed stock trade

WASHINGTON — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission took a step toward stricter oversight of the high-speed trading market, putting forward a broad range of possible rules for public comment.

The move comes less than a month after the Nasdaq exchange suffered a three-hour trading outage.

Citigroup Inc. has a high-speed trading operation in Mount Pleasant.

Staff and wire reports