S&P 500 index notches another record close

NEW YORK - The stock market notched another record close Monday after a big acquisition in the food industry.

Food distributor Sysco rose the most in the S&P 500 index after the company announced an agreement to buy rival US Foods in an $8.2 billion deal. Sysco's stock jumped $3.31, or 9.7 percent, to $37.62.

Stocks extended a rally from Friday that was driven by a report of solid U.S. job gains. That boosted investor confidence that the economy was growing strongly enough to handle any pullback in the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus.

The S&P 500 climbed 3.28 to close at 1,808.37. Other indexes also saw small gains. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.33 to 16,025.53. The Nasdaq increased 6.23 to 4,068.75.

Santee Cooper passes spending plan for 2014

Santee Cooper's board approved a $2.9 billion budget Monday. The 2014 spending plan is flat compared to the previous two years.

It includes $2.1 billion for the state-owned utility's electric system, $829.9 million for capital expenditures and $8.1 million for its water systems

Slightly more than half of power system budget is allocated for fuel and power purchases from other generators.

"Santee Cooper has worked hard to keep costs down. I'm pleased that we could put forward a budget that reflects that hard work, especially in the face of increasing regulatory requirements and fuel costs," said CEO Lonnie Carter. "We are focused on diversifying our generation mix, to maximize our ability to control fuel costs and deliver reliable electricity not only in 2014, but for decades to come."

U.S. government sheds remaining stake in GM

DETROIT - The U.S. government no longer owns part of General Motors. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the government sold its remaining shares in the carmaker Tuesday.

The government lost $10.5 billion on its bailout of GM. But Lew says the rescue was necessary to save 1 million jobs and stop the American auto industry from collapsing.

The government got 912 million GM shares, or 60.8 percent of the company, in exchange for a $49.5 billion bailout during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. It recovered $39 billion of the money.

New American Airlines emerges as deal closes

FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines emerged from bankruptcy protection and US Airways culminated its long pursuit of a merger partner as the two completed their deal Monday to create the world's biggest airline.

It's the latest in a series of mergers that will leave four airlines controlling more than 80 percent of the U.S. air-travel market. With less competition, the airlines have successfully limited the number of seats, boosting prices and returning to profitability.

Both carriers serve Charleston International, where US Airways is the No. 2 carrier based on passenger volume.

US safety agency may expand Hyundai recall

DETROIT - U.S. safety regulators are looking into whether a Hyundai Elantra recall should be expanded.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a recall query to determine if 52,000 Elantra Touring cars from the 2009 through 2012 model years should be recalled.

In March, Hyundai recalled more than 186,000 Elantra compacts from the 2011 to 2013 model years because a ceiling support bracket can come loose when side air bags inflate. In one case a bracket cut a driver's ear. The safety agency says that the 2009-2012 Elantra Touring models have a bracket design that's similar to the recalled cars.

Staff and wire reports