EMPLOYEE DATA STOLEN: Neiman Marcus said Tuesday that personal information about some 160,000 current and former employees fell into the wrong hands April 5, when a computer was stolen from a third-party contractor working on the retailer's pension plan. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and salaries were among the sensitive information contained in files on the stolen equipment. The data was current through Aug. 30, 2005, so employees who joined the company after that date are unaffected. Neiman's is providing those who are affected with one year of free credit monitoring services through Equifax. "We have no indication that the personal information on this computer equipment is in the hands of someone seeking to misuse your information," Neiman Marcus Group chairman and chief executive officer Burt Tansky said in a letter to affected individuals. He said the company is revealing the data breach now "because the authorities have recently determined that public disclosure of this matter will no longer impede their investigation." Current and former employees alerted include those of Neiman Marcus Stores, Neiman Marcus Direct, Bergdorf Goodman, Horchow, Horchow Finale, Last Call, Chefs Catalog and Contempo Casuals.

LIMITED SHARES UP: Shares of Limited Brands Inc., trading on the New York Stock Exchange, rose 8.37 percent on Tuesday to close at $28.86. About 17.6 million shares traded Tuesday, compared with an average three-month volume of 4.6 million shares. The company is in the process of selling its apparel group, which consists of the Limited and Express retail chains.

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