Stocks hit all-time highs Thursday

Stocks roared back to record highs on Thursday, driven by good news on the economy.

The Standard & Poor’s 500, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Russell 2000 index set all-time highs. The S&P broke through 1,700 points for the first time. The Nasdaq hit its highest level since September 2000.

The gains were driven by a steady flow of encouraging reports on the global economy.

Among Thursday’s stock index records: The S&P 500 index rose 21.14 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,706.87. The Dow rose 128.48 points, or 0.8 percent, to 15,628.02. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks rose 14.62 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,059.88.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 49.37 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,675.74, in line with the daily gains of other indexes but still far short of its record. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, briefly veered above 5,000 points in March 2000, just before the Internet bubble burst.

CresCom Bank to build 11th branch in Pawleys Island

CresCom Bank plans to open an 11th branch in Pawleys Island.

The financial institution has acquired property at 13021 Ocean Highway on U.S. 17 in the Litchfield community, CresCom announced Thursday. The construction schedule was not announced.

CresCom Bank has four branch locations in the Myrtle Beach area and six locations in the Charleston market.

CresCom originated from the consolidation of Crescent Bank of Myrtle Beach and Community FirstBank of Charleston.

SCE&G parent SCANA declares stock dividend

SCANA Corp. announced today that its board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 50¾ cents per share on the company’s common stock for the quarter ending Sept. 30. The dividend is payable Oct. 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 10.

SCANA Corp., headquartered in Cayce, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries such as South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses.

SCE&G work to close lane on Orangeburg Road over weekend

South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. workers will close the southbound lane of Orangeburg Road near Summerville 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to relocate a gas main as a part of a state Department of Transportation road project.

Drivers can expect lane closures at Froman Drive on Saturday and at O’Malley Drive on Sunday. Drivers should exercise caution through the construction zone.

Budget fashion chain H&M opens US online store

— After several delays, Swedish budget fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz AB says it has launched its online sales operations in the United States.

H&M opened its U.S. online store Thursday, saying it will sell everything available in its high street stores.

The online store, which was initially planned to open in 2012, will also feature some exclusive clothes that aren’t available elsewhere and the company’s home decor collection H&M Home.

H&M Home products include towels, bed linens, curtains and other textiles.

H&M plans to open a store in downtown Charleston this fall.

Staff and wire reports