Stocks, in short week, end session mostly off
NEW YORK — Stocks just had their worst week of the year as investors sold Thursday on fears that Spain will have trouble repaying debt after a key interest rate on its bonds rose.
The selling appeared to be tempered by a Labor Department report that said the number of people seeking jobless benefits fell to a four-year low.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the shortened week down 14.61 to 13,060.14.
The S&P 500 fell 0.88 point to 1,398.08 It ended the week down 0.7 percent, its worst drop since the week ended Dec. 16.
The Nasdaq composite rose 12.41 points to 3,080.50. Stock trading will be closed today for Good Friday.
Detyens to overhaul Navy vessel in $8M job
Detyens Shipyards Inc. has been awarded a contract to work on a Navy refueling vessel in North Charleston. The $8.1 million job is for a 55-day overhaul and dry-docking of the Military Sealift Command’s John Lenthall.
Work will include cleaning and engine and propeller maintenance, replacing the air conditioning chillers and painting the underwater hull.
Detyens is expected to complete the work by June 25 at its shipyard on the former Navy base. It won the job over two other bidders.
The 667-foot-long John Lenthall is part of a fleet that services Navy ships at sea. It can haul about 180,000 barrels of fuel for vessels and aircraft.
Santee Cooper bonds OK’d for new reactors
State-owned utility Santee Cooper approved the sale of nearly $575 million in revenue obligation bonds Thursday to help pay for its share of two new nuclear units being built north of Columbia with South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.
The bonds, which mature from 2013 through 2043, have an interest rate of about 4.3 percent. The bond issue were rated of AA- by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, and Aa3 by Moody’s Investment Service.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the license last week for construction of the twin 1,100-megawatt nuclear reactors. The $10 billion reactors are due to come online in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper has been trying to sell some of its interest in the Fairfield County nuclear project.
Penney is cutting 600 workers at head office
NEW YORK — Two months into J.C. Penney’s transformation, its workers are starting to feel the pain.
The mid-priced department store chain said Thursday it has laid off 600 workers, or 13 percent of the staff at its headquarters in Plano, Texas.
Also, Penney will eliminate 300 more jobs at its customer call center in Pittsburgh when it closes the center July 1. The moves come as new CEO Ron Johnson is transforming every aspect of the business.
The company has said it is targeting $900 million in expense cuts to be completed over two years. Before the layoffs, Penney had 4,400 employees at its headquarters and 134,000 chainwide.
Rate on 30-year home loans declines slightly to 3.98%
WASHINGTON — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was mostly unchanged this week, as the cost of home-buying and refinancing stayed near record lows.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan fell slightly to 3.98 percent from 3.99 percent last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage also fell, to 3.21 percent from 3.23 percent.
Staff and wire reports