Briefcase

Le Creuset has a shop at 241 King St. in downtown Charleston.

NEW YORK — They sold in May and went away, all right.

With a disappointing finish Thursday, the stock market closed what was by some measures its worst month in two years. Over five dismal weeks, Facebook fizzled, a debt crisis in Europe loomed, and nobody was in the mood to buy.

The Dow lost 820 points for the month, its worst showing since May 2010. That month, investors were spooked by a one-day “flash crash” in stocks.

This May, stocks limped to the finish. The Dow closed down 26.41 points Thursday to end the month at 12,393.45.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 2.99 points to close at 1,310.33. It fell 6.3 percent in May, its worst month since September. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10.02 points to 2,827.34, and had its worst month in two years.

WASHINGTON — Economic growth was a little slower in the first three months of the year than first estimated, largely because governments and consumers spent less and businesses restocked their supplies more slowly.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate of January-March growth. The initial estimate was 2.2 percent.

NEW YORK — Americans loosened their purse strings in May, but it may have been a temporary splurge.

On average, retailers posted a 4 percent rise in May for revenue at stores open at least a year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s better than the 3.6 percent analysts were expecting. It’s also up from 2.4 percent in April.

Some major retailers such as Target and Macy’s posted sales increases Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates as shoppers were lured in by Mother’s Day promotions and colorful new styles of clothing.

French cookware manufacturer Le Creuset announced Thursday that it will invest $2 million in a 93,000-square-foot expansion at its North American distribution site, located just off I-95 in Early Branch.

The announcement comes on the heels of the 116,000-square-foot expansion and $3.5 million investment at the Hampton County site last June, which created 25 new jobs for the company whose American headquarters is in Charleston.

The expansion will increase the size of the distribution facility to 300,000 square feet. The company first established its current distribution center near Yemassee in 1997 and has had a presence in South Carolina since 1974.

WASHINGTON — SunTrust Mortgage, the mortgage lending subsidiary of the nation’s 11th-largest commercial bank, agreed Thursday to pay $21 million to resolve a lawsuit by the Department of Justice that it engaged in a pattern of discrimination that increased loan prices for more than 20,000 African-Americans and Hispanics who obtained loans between 2005 and 2009.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, was filed in federal court in Richmond, Va., where SunTrust Mortgage is headquartered. Its parent company is Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank.

Borrowers who are eligible for compensation from the settlement will be contacted by the administrator.

Staff and wire reports