Central banks' credit aid helps boost stock market

NEW YORK — Stocks rose Tuesday as investors found solace in the European Central Bank's $500 billion loan issuance and profit gains at Goldman Sachs and Best Buy. But the possibility of recession in 2008 made for a seesaw session.

The ECB's tender supported the idea that the world's central banks are working to revive demand in the credit market. The Bank of England also said it will offer additional reserves to lenders after the Federal Reserve on Monday auctioned off $20 billion in 28-day credit.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.27, or 0.50 percent, to 13,232.47. The S&P 500 gained 9.07, or 0.63 percent, to 1,454.97. The Nasdaq composite index rose 21.57, or 0.84 percent, to 2,596.03.

Home construction falls; building permits drop

WASHINGTON — Housing construction fell in November, with single-family activity dropping to the lowest level in more than 16 years.

The Commerce Department said residential construction fell 3.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.187 million units. Construction of single-family homes fell 5.5 percent to a rate of 829,000 units, the lowest level since April 1991.

In an ominous sign for future activity, the government said applications for building permits fell 1.5 percent to the slowest pace since June 1993.

Group to promote state's engineering businesses

COLUMBIA — New Carolina, also known as the S.C. Council on Competitiveness, said Tuesday it will work to promote and expand the state's engineering industry.

Lee Stogner will head the effort to improve the engineering "cluster," which New Carolina defines as companies in similar businesses that collaborate to build and expand their products and services. The Charleston-based representative is Beth Meredith.

New Carolina estimated 45,000 engineers statewide are developing technologies and designing projects in almost every industry.

Magazine names Tundra its 2008 truck of the year

DETROIT — The full-size pickup Toyota Tundra is Motor Trend's 2008 truck of the year, the magazine announced Tuesday.

Motor Trend's editors said the Tundra is a match for its Detroit rivals, the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram in dimensions and performance. The Silverado won the award a year ago.

Featuring one V-6 and two different V-8 powertrains, the Tundra showed impressive performance, load carrying and towing capabilities, the magazine said. Toyota also impressed with its various options.

GM: Buyouts, retirement offered to some workers

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. is offering buyouts and retirement incentives to 5,200 hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers.

GM would not reveal the number of workers it expects to leave under the program. More than 34,000 GM workers left last year by way of retirement or buyouts.

The new program will be offered to all UAW-represented hourly employees at GM's service and parts and operations facilities across the U.S., as well as certain other hourly workers in Pennsylvania, New York, Oklahoma, New Jersey and California.