Business briefs

  • Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 4:59 p.m.
Jim Beam’s visitors center.

Stocks post their worst trading day since Nov.


The stock market fell the most in two months Monday, extending a weak start to the year.

The energy sector slumped as the crude oil prices declined. Traders also worried about more cuts in the Federal Reserve’s stimulus following remarks from a policymaker.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 179.11 to close at 16,257.94 Monday. The S&P 500 index fell 23.17 to 1,819.20, its biggest drop since Nov. 7. The Nasdaq fell 61.36 to 4,113.30.

Ruby Tuesday pulls out of site on James Island


Ruby Tuesday closed its James Island restaurant Sunday, days after the chain said it would shut down 30 of its least profitable U.S. locations.

It’s unclear whether the Daniel Ellis Drive site was among the under-performing restaurants. The report released last week did not specify which locations would close. The company couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Ruby Tuesday locations in West Ashley, North Charleston and Summerville remain open.

Jim Beam’s maker gets acquired by Japan firm


The maker of classic American liquors such as Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark has agreed to be purchased by a Japanese company in a $13.62 billion deal that would create the third largest global premium spirits business.

Shares of Beam Inc. said it agreed to be acquired by Suntory Holdings. The combined company would have annual sales of more than $4.3 billion.

The acquisition comes as the taste for bourbon continues to grow. Exports of U.S. whiskeys have grown to roughly $1 billion last year, more than double from a decade ago.

BMW sets sales record, tops German lux rivals


Luxury carmaker BMW AG has posted record sales for 2013, keeping its No. 1 spot in the market for high-priced cars against its German competitors Audi and Mercedes.

The company said Monday it sold 1.66 million vehicles under the BMW brand, 7.5 percent more than the previous year. The figure was boosted by strong sales of the brand’s mainstay 3-series sedan and X1 small SUV as well as by rising demand in China and the U.S.

BMW is a major exporter of vehicles through the Port of Charleston. Its only U.S. assembly plant is near Sparanburg.

PayPal tests simplified web checkout system


EBay’s payments service PayPal has redesigned its online checkout process to let shoppers complete their payment on merchants’ websites, rather than go to a separate PayPal site.

Simplifying the checkout process and having shoppers stay on an e-commerce site rather than click over to a separate page means they are more likely to complete the sale.

PayPal said Monday it’s testing the new process with a few merchants and will make it available to large businesses in the first half of this year.

No winner: N.J. casino folds; workers jobless


At a minute past midnight Monday, 1,600 workers became jobless when the struggling Atlantic Club Casino Hotel shut down, the victim of a glut of casinos in the northeastern U.S.

Two rival casino companies paid a combined $23.4 million to shut down the Atlantic Club and remove what they considered unneeded capacity from the market. Tropicana Entertainment bought the slots, table games and customer lists, while Caesars Entertainment bought an 801-room hotel it has no immediate plans for.

It was the first casino closure in Atlantic City since the Sands shut down in 2006.

Staff and wire reports

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