Stocks slip on a quiet session on Wall Street
NEW YORK — A quiet day of trading left stock indexes mixed Monday. There was little in the way of news to shake the market out of a summertime stupor, other than a report from the Institute for Supply Management that the U.S. service sector expanded in July, helped by a rise in new orders. It wasn’t enough to drive the market above its already high levels.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 46.23 to 15,612.13. The S&P 500 index slipped 2.53 to close at 1,707.14. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 3.36 to 3,692.95.
Harbor National Bank has record 2Q earnings
Robust demand for mortgage loans helped deliver a twofold increase in second-quarter income at Harbor National Bank. The Charleston-based lender said it earned a record $640,661 in the April-July period, up 228 percent from the $195,207 profit it reported a year earlier.
Compared to the 2012 second quarter, the bank said this year it had: a 9.1 percent gain in total assets, to $281.1 million; a nearly 11 percent increase in loans, to $235.1 million; and an 8.8 percent gain in deposits, to $229.9 million.
“One of the keys to our improving economy is the rebound of our local residential real estate market,” Harbor National CEO Charles F. Rivers III said in a statement.
Privately held Harbor National has offices and branches in Charleston, James Island, Mount Pleasant and West Ashley. It said it is actively looking to expand to Summerville.
Penney taps Kraft exec as new marketing chief
NEW YORK — J.C. Penney Co. has hired an executive from the food world to reconnect with its shoppers.
The beleaguered department store on Monday named Kraft Foods executive Debra Berman as senior vice president of marketing to help revitalize the struggling brand.
Penney is trying to win back customers who fled during a transformation plan spearheaded by chain’s former CEO, Ron Johnson, that backfired and led to massive losses and sales drops.
Berman fills the void left by Michael Francis, who left the company in June 2012. Francis was responsible for marketing a new pricing plan created by Johnson. After Francis left, Johnson oversaw marketing, until he was fired in April.
Drake’s cakes to return to shelves next month
NEW YORK — Twinkies are already back on shelves and now the new owners of Drake’s cakes say Coffee Cakes, Devil Dogs, Ring Dings and Yodels will return next month.
McKee Foods Corp. says it plans to bring back the snack cakes in the third week of September. The company is still deciding whether to bring back Funny Bones, which are similar to a Twinkie with chocolate cake and peanut butter filling.
McKee, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, snapped up Drake’s cakes from rival Hostess Brands after the company went out of business last year. Twinkies, CupCakes and other snacks were purchased by a two investment firms.
Sri Lanka enlarges port to handle bigger ships
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka marked the opening of its expanded port, a $400 million project that aims to turn the Indian Ocean island into a regional trading hub.
The project will enable the port to double its current capacity by accepting mega-cargo ships that hold as many as 18,000 shipping containers to enter the port, helping to reduce freight rates and making Sri Lanka a more attractive port.
Sri Lanka has been spending heavily to upgrade its infrastructure since the end of a civil war in 2009. Many of the big projects have been funded by China.
Staff and wire reports