Consumer Cos Up on Deal Activity -- Consumer Roundup

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies ticked up amid deal activity.

Food-service giant Aramark plans to acquire two closely held companies for a total of $2.35 billion. Aramark said it is buying Avendra LLC, which procures food, supplies and services to hotels for $1.35 billion; and AmeriPride Services, a supplier of uniforms and towels, for $1 billion.

The automotive company that owns the Mercedes-Benz car brand said it plans to consolidate its five business divisions into three separate registered companies.

Shares of Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday rose after it agreed to be taken private by investment firm NRD Capital Management for $146 million. Shares of Nordstrom fell after reports that the company's founding family suspended efforts to take the department-store chain private, the latest indication that investors are wary of the retail industry because of digital competition.

Recent wage inflation may not change the grim position for lower income families, according to one brokerage.

"The good news is that median income increased 10% over the past three years," said analysts at brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, in a note to clients. "The bad news is that the growth was uneven, with the wealthiest seeing stronger gains."

Shares of Sears fell after hedge fund manager Bruce Berkowitz, a long-time investor in the retail chain, said he would step down from the company's board on Oct 31.

-Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 16, 2017 16:38 ET (20:38 GMT)