Dow Jones average hits highest mark since ’07
NEW YORK — The fastest growth in U.S. manufacturing in 10 months gave stocks a lift Tuesday and pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close in more than four years.
Manufacturing expanded last month at the strongest pace since June, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The news jolted stocks out of a morning stupor. In a separate report Tuesday, the Commerce Department said construction spending ticked up in March, following two months of declines.
The Dow added 65.69 to 13,279.32, its highest closing mark since Dec. 28, 2007.
The S&P 500 rose 8 to 1,406. The Nasdaq composite climbed by 4 to 3,050.
Asia shipping service coming to Charleston
A new container-shipping service will bring 52 additional ship calls a year at the State Ports Authority’s North Charleston Terminal.
An alliance of ocean carriers including COSCO, K-Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin will offer the service. Charleston is the last U.S. port call on the route, providing South Carolina exporters with additional options to reach markets in Asia.
The ships will call on Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai in China, and Pusan, South Korea, via the Panama Canal. The first Charleston call is expected around June 19.
P.F. Chang’s to be sold, taken private for $1.1B
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — P.F. Chang’s is being acquired and taken private by a private equity firm in a deal valued at almost $1.1 billion.
Under the terms released Tuesday, Centerbridge Partners will buy shares of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. for $51.50 each. The cash offer represents a 40 percent premium over Monday closing price. P.F. Chang’s opened its only location in the Charleston region in October at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.
Toyota, Chrysler post big sales gains in April
DETROIT — Toyota and Chrysler saw big U.S. sales gains in April, but they came at the expense of General Motors and Ford.
Toyota sales rose 12 percent as its inventories finally returned to pre-earthquake levels. Chrysler posted a 20 percent rise in sales. Its top-sellers included the Ram pickup and Chrysler 200 midsize sedan.
GM sales fell 8 percent, hurt by new products and aggressive marketing from competitors. Ford sales fell 5 percent as demand for its Fiesta subcompact dropped. Many buyers opted for the Focus small car instead.
Wal-Mart to pay $4.8M for overtime violations
WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart Stores will pay $4.8 million in back wages and damages to more than 4,500 employees nationwide for unpaid overtime, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The company also will pay nearly $464,000 in civil penalties for violating federal overtime laws.
The violations cover current and former managers at Wal-Mart vision centers and certain security personnel at various retail units. A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company took the allegations seriously when they were raised in 2007 and immediately corrected the way it classified the employees.
Staff and wire reports