Mid-Market Hiring Looking Bright

The nation's 200,000 middle-market companies plan to hire 1.4 million new workers over the next 12 months, half-a-million more than projected at the start of 2014, according to the National Center for the Middle Market.

The group says the resurgence in hiring is being driven in part by less uncertainty in Washington, allowing mid-market executives to focus more on finding skilled employees.

Columbia (NASDAQ:COLM) is buying Prana for $190 million from majority owner Steelpoint Capital Partners and other minority holders. Prana makes athletic gear, including clothes, shoes and accessories.

The deal with Columbia is expected to help Prana grow outside the U.S.

And shares of Papa Murphy's Holdings (NASDAQ:FRSH) rose in their first day of trading, but closed well off their highest level on Friday.

The company, which went public on Nasdaq at $11a share, closed up five cents. Papa Murphy's is a franchisor and operator of the largest take 'n bake pizza chain in the U.S.

Lee Equity Partners will remain the largest shareholder in the company with a 40% stake.