Dow posts substantial gain
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 323.09 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 15,126.07. It was the index’s biggest point rise this year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 36.16 points, or 2.2 percent, to 1,692.56 and the Nasdaq composite rose 82.97 points, or 2.3 percent, to 3,760.75.
Schulman director backs plan
Investment firm Barington Capital Group, whose founder is a director of A. Schulman Inc. in Fairlawn, is seeking to break up the Darden Restaurants company. Publicly traded Darden owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse and other chain restaurants.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that New York-based hedge fund Barington now owns 2.8 percent of Darden shares. The Journal reported Barington wants Darden to split into two companies, one made up of Olive Garden and Red Lobster and the other with its higher-growth chains.
Barington is headed by Schulman director James A. Mitarotonda. He founded Barington Capital in 1991 and joined Schulman’s board in 2005 as part of a proxy contest settlement. He is a member of Schulman’s compensation committee and strategic committee.
Mitarotonda also is a director of Griffon Corp., Sielox Inc., and is chairman of Pep Boys automotive parts retail and service chain.
Mortgage rates change little
Average interest rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, staying near their lowest levels in three months. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on the 30-year loan edged up to 4.23 percent from 4.22 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.31 percent from 3.29 percent. Both are the lowest averages since July.
Huntington to buy Camco
Regional bank holding company Huntington Bancshares is buying Camco Financial, parent of Advantage Bank, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $97 million.
Camco Financial Corp. shareholders can choose to receive 0.7264 share of Huntington common stock or $6 in cash for each share of Camco Financial stock they own.
Clothing retailer rejects offer
Men’s Wearhouse Inc. rejected a $2.3 billion cash takeover offer from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., saying the bid undervalued the company and wasn’t in the best interest of investors. It also adopted a shareholder rights plan. Jos. A. Bank, based in Hampstead, Md., said Wednesday it had made a nonbinding proposal on Sept. 18 to acquire Men’s Wearhouse for $48 a share, 36 percent higher than the Tuesday closing price. There is turmoil at Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse, which cut its profit forecast last month and removed founder George Zimmer as executive chairman over strategy disagreements in June. Men’s Wearhouse’s annual sales of about $2.5 billion are more than twice those of Jos. A. Bank. It also has a higher market value and almost twice the number of stores as of Aug. 3.
Nestle studies possible sale
Swiss food giant Nestle is looking to sell its Jenny Craig brand, seven years after spending $600 million to buy the weight-loss company from two private-equity firms, the New York Times reported. The move follows remarks to analysts last week by Chief Executive Paul Bulcke that the company planned to divest some of its underperforming businesses. Nestle, which has frozen food operations based in Solon, declined comment.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.