BRIEFCASE

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

Stocks fall for 4th day as tech profits slump

NEW YORK — Stocks fell for the fourth straight day Tuesday following a profit slump at technology companies and a steep decline in oil prices, which sent energy stocks sharply lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 83.17 points to close at 12,653.12. The broader S&P 500 lost 10.99 points to 1,341.47.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices fell after reporting that a slowdown in China and Europe led to an 11 percent drop in revenue. That sent other tech stocks down. The Nasdaq index dropped 1 percent. It closed 29.44 points lower at 2,902.33.

Santee Cooper changes ad firms after 15 years

Santee Cooper said Tuesday it has selected The Brandon Agency of Myrtle Beach to handle its marketing needs for the next three years.

The agency will develop a strategic marketing plan to promote energy efficiency and economic development, among other advertising needs for the utility, which spends about $1 million a year on advertising.

Brandon replaces Chernoff Newman, which handled the account for 15 years. Rawle Murdy Associates of Charleston also bid on the job.

Duke’s CEO: ‘Concerns’ led to Johnson’s ouster

RALEIGH — Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers told the N.C. Utilities Commission on Tuesday that former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson was pushed out after the companies merged because the combined company’s board “lost confidence in his ability to lead.”

Rogers testified that Duke’s board developed “an accumulation of concerns” about Johnson’s ability to run the company, including his management style and problems at a Progress nuclear plant in Florida.

“They felt his style was autocratic and discouraged different points of view,” Rogers said.

Chevy buyers can get refunds under offering

LOS ANGELES — Chevrolet will allow buyers to return their cars for a full refund as long as they have less than 4,000 miles driven and no damage. The offer is part of a new program that includes no-haggle pricing and is meant to increase Chevy sales and reverse a market-share slide for the brand this year.

The “Love it or return it” program is good on new 2012 or 2013 model-year vehicles. Any returns have to be within 30 to 60 days of the purchase date. The promotion ends Sept. 4.

Chief of troubled brokerage found, condition unclear

WASHINGTON — The chief of an Iowa-based brokerage firm that has been unable to account for $220 million in customer money was found in his car at company headquarters, with a tube connecting the vehicle’s tailpipe to the interior, authorities said Tuesday.

Employees of Peregrine Financial Group discovered Russell Wasendorf Sr. on Monday, along with a suicide note. His condition was unclear.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed civil fraud charges against the firm Tuesday, accusing it and Wasendorf of misusing customer funds. The CFTC said Peregrine falsely reported it held more than $220 million in customer funds when it had $5.1 million.

Shareholders OK split of shares of Coca-Cola

NEW YORK — Shareholders have approved The Coca-Cola Co.’s first stock split in 16 years. The company announced the two-for-one split in April, citing its expectation to double revenue over this decade.

The split increases the number of Coca-Cola shares to 11.2 billion. Shareholders will receive one additional share of stock on Aug. 10 for each share held.

Staff and wire reports