Men's Wearhouse, Jos. Bank signal they're talking
NEW YORK (AP) — Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. are moving a bit closer to a possible combination, announcing that they are exchanging certain confidential information with each other.
Men's Wearhouse Inc. said Monday that it's also received a draft merger agreement from Jos. A. Bank.
The news comes days after Jos. A. Bank rejected a $63.40 acquisition offer from Men's Wearhouse. The retailer has said it may raise the bid to $65 per share, if some conditions are met.
Jos. A. Bank may have nixed the $63.50 per share offer, but it did say Thursday that it was willing to meet with Men's Wearhouse to discuss the higher bid.
Gates back on top of Forbes' billionaire rankings
NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back on top of the list of the world's richest people after a four-year hiatus.
Forbes magazine announced its ranking of the world's billionaires Monday.
Gates, who led the list for 15 of the past 20 years, won the spot back from Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who had topped the list for the past four years. Gates' net worth is estimated at $76 billion; Slim Helu follows at $72 billion.
Forbes says a record 1,645 billionaires made the list this year, with an average net worth of $4.7 billion.
Buffett says economy continues to grow steadily
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett says the economy continues the steady improvement that began in fall of 2009 and he remains optimistic despite Russia's advance into Ukraine.
Buffett appeared on the business cable channel CNBC Monday morning after releasing an upbeat annual letter to his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders over the weekend. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the Omaha, Neb., conglomerate.
Buffett said the reports he gets from Berkshire's 80-odd subsidiaries in a variety of industries show that the economy is growing at a moderate rate, despite swings in investors' mood.
Cold weather heats up sales for some companies
NEW YORK (AP) — The harsh winter has been rough for some businesses, but for a lucky few, the frigid weather means more cold, hard cash.
Ace Hardware is having its best winter in more than a decade for snow blower and shovel sales. Waterproof boots are on a long backorder at clothing maker L.L. Bean. And more people are staying home and ordering food and booze from Delivery.com.
Only 32 winters have been colder in the last 119 years, according to Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the National Climatic Data Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 153.68 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,168.03. The S&P 500 index fell 13.72 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,845.73. The Nasdaq composite dropped 30.82 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,277.30.
Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery gained $2.33, or 2.3 percent, to close at $104.92 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $3.02 per gallon. Heating oil added 6 cents to $3.08 per gallon. Natural gas fell 12 cents to $4.49 per 1,000 cubic feet. Brent crude, a benchmark for international varieties of crude, rose $2.13, or 2 percent, to $111.20 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.