Jobs report leads Wall Street lower

NEW YORK -- A late-day slide left stocks lower Thursday after a report showed that gains in the job market are proceeding slowly.

Major stock indexes stalled and then fell in the final hour of trading. The drop signaled that traders remain on edge and not sure about the market's direction.

The Labor Department said first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped to 444,000 last week from an upwardly revised 448,000 the previous week.

Anderson County to get $1B plant addition

COLUMBIA -- First Quality Enterprises plans to spend $1 billion on a South Carolina plant that will bring up to 1,000 jobs to a county with double-digit unemployment.

Republican state Rep. Dan Cooper said Thursday that the Great Neck, N.Y., company will expand operations at an existing Anderson County facility.

Cooper said First Quality will bring between 500 and 1,000 jobs to a county that sorely needs them. Anderson County's jobless rate in March was 12.5 percent. Cooper said the maker of paper towels, toilet paper, diapers and feminine hygiene products would remodel an existing facility and add buildings.

Aussie textile firm invests in Upstate

GREER -- A high-tech textile maker said it will create 200 jobs in the Upstate over the next five years. Alexium International Group said it will spend $8 million for a plant in Greer.

The Australian company plans to have a research and development lab in operation by the end of July. The facility will include limited production capabilities.

Alexium will develop its reactive surface technology developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to improve the performance of surfaces, such as glass, plastic, paint, leather and fabrics. Products range from aircraft paint applications to create slick surfaces that can withstand chemical attacks to military uniforms that protect against water and oil.

Mortgage rates drop to 5-month low

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest level of the year, as rates fell on U.S. government securities. Fixed mortgage rates closely track interest rates paid on long-term Treasury bonds.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 4.93 percent from 5 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac said Thursday. It was the lowest level since mid-December.

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.3 percent, down from 4.36 percent.

iPad expected to be in Walmarts this year

GREENSBORO -- Some Walmart stores might start selling Apple's iPad this year. "We anticipate being able to have the iPad later this year," said Gary Severson, senior vice president of entertainment for U.S. stores. The company isn't prepared to provide details related to the timing and pricing, he said.

Apple has sold more than 1 million iPads since they went on sale in the U.S. last month, making the debut more successful than the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Apple sells the device, a tablet computer that lets users read digital books and access the Internet, online and in its stores. Best Buy also sells it.