Business news in brief
Markets recover from stumble over elections
NEW YORK — Stock markets recovered around the world following an early stumble caused by election results in France and Greece that appeared to jeopardize Europe’s plans for fighting its debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 68 points early Monday but recouped its losses and even rose in the afternoon. The Dow closed down 29.74, or 0.2 percent, at 13,008.53. The S&P 500 rose 0.48, or 0.04 percent, to 1,369.58. The Nasdaq rose 1.42, or 0.05 percent, to 2,957.76.
Greek voters punished politicians who backed cost-cutting plans, leaving the country without clear leadership. In France President Nicolas Sarkozy was thrown out in favor of Socialist Francois Hollande.
Local port to get its 1st direct call to Vietnam
The Port of Charleston has landed a new weekly container service with calls in Asia and North Africa. It marks the third new local option this year for businesses that ship goods, particularly exporters.
The New World Alliance consortium of ocean carriers, including Evergreen, will launch in June. It is the first time Charleston will have a direct call in Vietnam.
The South China/Vietnam-US Southeast service will move cargo through the Suez Canal on ships that can haul the equivalent of 4,600 to 5,600 20-foot-long containers. The service originates in Cai Mep, Vietnam, and includes calls in China, Singapore and Tangier, Morocco.
S&P raises credit rating for airports authority
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised the credit rating for Charleston County Aviation Authority from A- to A. The upgrade reflects the authority’s strong financial position and will allow it to borrow money at lower interest rates for the $150 million redevelopment of Charleston International Airport, said Sue Stevens, airports director. Work is expected to begin soon.
U.S. consumers added to borrowings in March
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers swiped their credit cards more often in March and took out more loans for school, driving borrowing up by the most in more than a decade.
Total consumer borrowing rose $21.4 billion in March, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That’s the seventh straight monthly increase and the largest since November 2001.
A measure of auto and student loans increased by $16.2 billion. A separate gauge of mostly credit card debt rose $5.2 billion after declining in January and February.
Kodak Gallery is being sold, to go dark in July
NEW YORK — Kodak will close its online photo service July 2 after a judge approved selling the business to Shutterfly for $23.8 million.
Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, is selling the business to generate cash and to narrow its focus.
In an email to users on Monday, Kodak said people who do not want their photos transferred will have to inform it by May 28 by visiting its website and choosing to “opt out” of the migration. After July 2, customers won’t have access to any photos on Kodak Gallery. Shutterfly will contact users in June with details.
Toyota’s electric RAV4 will start near $50,000
DETROIT — Toyota’s electric RAV4 will save on gas, but it’ll cost you. Toyota Motor said Monday the SUV will cost $49,800 when it goes on sale in California this summer. That’s more than double the starting price of the gas version. The electric model will go about 100 miles on a charge. But the high price could limit sales. The electric RAV4 costs $14,600 more than the Nissan Leaf.
Staff and wire reports