Stocks rise on strong U.S. economic growth

NEW YORK - An unexpectedly strong report on U.S. economic growth pushed stocks higher Friday, capping off Wall Street's best week in three months. The report showed the economy grew at a healthy 4.1 percent annual pace between July and September.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 42.06 to 16,221.14. The S&P 500 rose 8.71 to 1,818.31. The Nasdaq added 46.61 to 4,104.74.

The bulk of this week's gains came Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve announced it was going to pull back on its economic stimulus program.

Boeing notifies bidders about 777X site status

CHICAGO - Boeing Co. said Friday it has begun telling states whether they're still in the running to build its new 777X.

Boeing has gotten proposals from 22 states covering 54 locations that all want to build the plane. Boeing says it is narrowing the list down and is telling each location its status in the process.

Boeing isn't releasing the list publicly. The company says it expects to pick a location early next year. South Carolina, where Boeing assembles the 787, is believed to be one of the states to submit an offer.

Boeing began looking for a new location to build the successor to its 777 after union workers in Washington state rejected a deal that would have kept the work there.

Boeing is aiming to deliver the plane in 2020.

Fury, frustration over data breach at Target

NEW YORK - Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target's security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers.

Angry Target customers expressed their displeasure in comments on the company's Facebook page. Some threatened to stop shopping at the store. Target apologized on Facebook and said it's working hard to resolve the problem and is adding more workers to field calls and solve website issues.

The fury and frustration come as the discounter acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

S&P strips away EU's top AAA credit rating

PARIS - The Standard & Poor's rating agencyhas downgraded the European Union's credit rating, stripping it of the highest grade of AAA.

The agency said Friday a bitter battle over the EU budget and worsening creditworthiness of its members are behind the decision to downgrade the bloc's long-term issuer credit rating to AA+. The outlook is stable.

A downgrade can sometimes make it more expensive to borrow money on bond markets. But a rating of AA+ is still considered very solid, so the new rating is likely to have little more than symbolic effect. The EU borrows money to lend to member states, other countries and some programs.

Flag maker to add 100 jobs at Kingstree plant

A U.S.-based, family-run flag manufacturer that has been in operation for more than 100 years is expanding its existing operations in Williamsburg County. Valley Forge Flag Co. will invest $2.5 million in the expansion.

The Wyomissing, Pa.-based company will expand its current operations into an existing 300,000-square-foot facility near Kingstree. The company now employs more than 300 people in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Staff and wire reports