Businesses aim to reel in new customers at boat show

Hull #1 of a 35-foot locally manufactured Scout was a magnet at the Charleston Boat Show on Friday at the North Charleston Convention Center. Several hundred boats and vendors filled exhibition halls, a parking lot, sidewalks and the coliseum floor for th

NEW YORK --The stock market bounced to its highest close since May on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero for almost three more years.

Bond yields dropped sharply, then climbed back as investors began looking more closely into the Fed's deliberations.

The big moves in both markets came at 12:30 p.m. when the Fed said it was unlikely to raise rates before late 2014. It had previously promised to keep rates low into mid-2013.

"Unless there is a substantial strengthening of the economy in the near term, it's a pretty good guess we will be keeping rates low for some time," Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

The extension of low rates signaled that the Fed expects inflation to stay low.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down as much as 95 points in the morning and shot to a gain of 103 points during the afternoon.

--The Dow closed up 83.10, or 0.7 percent, at 12,758.85.

--The S&P 500 rose 11.41, or 0.9 percent, to 1,326.06.

--The Nasdaq index rose 31.67, or 1.1 percent, to close at 2,818.31.

NLRB head wants rules to bolster union growth

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board hopes to have another round of regulations in place by the end of the year that would make it easier for unions to establish and win representation elections in workplaces.

Undeterred by Republican protests, Mark Pearce said he will urge the board to approve the new rules now that it has a full component of five members after President Obama bypassed the Senate to fill three vacancies.

One change Pearce wants is requiring businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and emails to union leaders before an election.

US Airways sees prices, demand rising this year

NEW YORK -- US Airways Group expects that ticket prices and passenger demand will continue their upward climb this year, overshadowing stubbornly higher fuel prices.

It's just the continuation of a "transformation" to a more stable industry where fare sales are less common, tickets are more expensive and rapid addition of flights is rare, CEO Doug Parker said.

The airline, which is Charleston's No. 2 carrier by passenger volume, also confirmed that it is studying a possible combination with bankrupt American Airlines. It will likely be some time before a decision is made.