Interest rates have Wall Street fretting
NEW YORK — The stock market has a new priority: interest rates. Stocks fell moderately Wednesday after the government sold $19 billion in 10-year Treasury notes in a relatively weak auction. There were plenty of bidders, but the government had to lure them with a higher yield than the market anticipated.
Investors are concerned the government's debt is growing so large that it will lead to higher inflation and soaring interest rates. Higher rates could hamper the economy's recovery by raising borrowing costs for consumers, while higher inflation also could discourage them from spending.
Big developer files to restructure debt
Crescent Resources, the developer of Oldfield in Okatie and the swanky Palmetto Bluff resort in Bluffton, said Wednesday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Charlotte-based company said it will continue operating as it tries to cut debt and improve its capital structure. Crescent has raised $110 million in financing from its existing lenders to continue operations as it reorganizes.
Crescent, a joint venture of Duke Energy and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, sold most of its holdings in Charleston last year. It still owns the 2,032-acre Wildcat tract in lower Berkeley County. Elsewhere in South Carolina, it has developed Lake Keowee near Clemson and Springfield in Fort Mill.
Fed official: The bottom is nearing
RALEIGH — The head of the Federal Reserve Bank branch in Richmond said signs point to the U.S. economy hitting bottom later this year and then expanding.
Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, whose district includes South Carolina, said Wednesday that consumers are starting to spend a bit more. Lacker also said the worst of the declines in manufacturing may have passed. He said housing construction has risen slightly and existing home sales should hit bottom later this year. Lacker also said the Fed's challenge will be picking the right time in an economic recovery to tighten credit.
P&G veteran gets bumped up to CEO
CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday it chose 29-year company veteran Bob McDonald to lead the world's largest consumer-products company.
McDonald, 55, who will take over July 1 as CEO, has helped build P&G's developing markets business and restructure company operations. A.G. Lafley, 61, who became CEO nine years ago this week, will remain as chairman.
Starbucks resolves overbilling errors
NEW YORK — Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday it has repaid all one million customers it inadvertently double-charged on Memorial Day weekend after a computer problem caused the chain to bill some credit and debit card customers twice at about 7,800 stores.
York manufacturer to invest $9 million
YORK — A company that makes truck braking systems plans to expand a South Carolina plant, adding about 50 jobs. The Herald of Rock Hill reported Wednesday that county documents show that Arvin Meritor plans to spend more than $9 million to upgrade its plant in York.