Stocks extend gains on budget-talks optimism

NEW YORK — Stocks rose for a fifth straight day Tuesday as investors latched on to reports of progress in budget talks in Washington. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its biggest gain this month.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78.56 to 13,248.44. The S&P 500 finished up 9.29 at 1,427.84. The Nasdaq composite ended up 35.34 at 3,022.30.

The Dow is up 8.4 percent since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 has gained 13.5 percent.

Exxon says energy revival will increase U.S. exports

NEW YORK — Exxon said the energy renaissance in the U.S. will continue and predicted that North America will become a net exporter of oil and natural gas by the middle of the next decade.

The company’s annual long-term energy outlook, released Tuesday, said the rapid growth of production in the U.S. and Canada, along with improved energy efficiency, will lead to more oil and natural gas sent overseas.

Feds sell off remaining shares of insurer AIG

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has sold all its remaining shares of American International Group, moving to wrap up the government’s biggest bailout of the 2008 financial crisis.

Treasury said it received $32.50 a share for its 234.2 million remaining shares, which represented a 16 percent ownership stake in the giant insurance company. With this sale, Treasury said the government has received $22.7 billion more than the $182 billion bailout it provided to support AIG.

Microsoft says it will produce more Surfaces

NEW YORK — Microsoft said Tuesday it is increasing production of its Surface tablets and will sell them in more stores. Staples said it will carry them starting today. Surface is the first tablet Microsoft is selling under its own brand, and the company has promoted it heavily since its October launch.

Va. mushroom grower moving to Hardeeville

AmFOG Farms, a gourmet mushroom producer, is moving its headquarters and building a production facility near Hardeeville in Jasper County, citing the proximity to three major interstate highways, Gov. Nikki Haley’s office said Tuesday.

The firm plans to create seven jobs as part of its relocation from Harrisonburg, Va.

The company will produce mushrooms in a controlled indoor growing environment using a patent-pending process. It is is expected to raise about 78,000 pounds during the first year of operation in 2013.

SCE&G nuclear unit online after 2-month outage

South Carolina Electric & Gas has wrapped up a nearly two-month maintenance and refueling outage at its V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in the Midlands. SCE&G said Tuesday that it returned Unit 1 at the Jenkinsville site to the grid on Friday.

The scheduled shutdown began Oct. 12. During the outage, inspectors found that part of the V.C. Summer reactor required repairs to four welds. The fixes were completed successfully, the company said.

The plant is co-owned by SCE&G and state-owned utility Santee Cooper. They are investing about $10 billion to add two new reactors at the site.

Staff and wire reports