James Island's Harrison picks S.C. State

Jairon Harrison

NEW YORK -- The stock market closed mostly lower Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its first losing week of 2012, after the government reported that economic growth was slower at the end of last year than expected.

The loss snapped a three-week winning streak for the Dow, which fell 60 points for the week but is up 3.6 percent for the year.

Union membership up, but not its market share

WASHINGTON -- Union membership grew slightly last year, giving labor leaders hope that a period of steep declines has finally bottomed out.

The number of unionized workers increased by about 50,000 to nearly 14.8 million members in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The increase comes after unions lost nearly 1.4 million members over the previous two years.

Still, unions' share of the overall workforce fell, from 11.9 percent to 11.8 percent, as state and local governments trimmed thousands of jobs.

Unions saw losses of about 61,000 workers in government employment. But they grew by 110,000 workers in the private sector, mainly in construction and health care. Unions represent just 6.9 percent of all workers at private companies, unchanged from 2010.

Marlboro maker's profit slides 9%; CEO to retire

RICHMOND, Va. -- Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit fell about 9 percent on lease and restructuring charges even as higher prices and gains from its smokeless tobacco products helped bolster its sales.

The owner of the biggest U.S, cigarette maker, Philip Morris, had net income of $836 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31. Revenue, excluding excise taxes, increased 5 percent to $4.34 billion.

Altria also said CEO Michael Szymanczyk will retire in May. Altria's board has selected Martin J. Barrington to replace him as CEO and chairman.

Accounting move drives big profit at Ford Motor

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co. posted a big profit for the fourth quarter and 2011, but they were largely due to accounting changes. Without those changes, the company fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

Ford earned $13.62 billion in the quarter largely due to a decision to move deferred tax assets back onto its books. It was Ford's 11th straight quarterly profit. Revenue rose 6 percent to $34.6 billion.

Eastman Chemical deal expands firm's presence

NEW YORK -- Specialty chemical company Eastman Chemical is buying Solutia Inc. in a deal valued at about $3.4 billion to broaden its presence in the Asia Pacific region and other emerging markets while expanding its product lines.

Solutia of St. Louis makes materials and chemicals used in the auto and architectural industries. Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical has approximately 10,000 employees. Solutia has about 3,400 workers globally.

Two banks in Tenn, Fla., are seized by regulators

WASHINGTON -- Regulators on Friday closed banks in Tennessee and Florida, lifting to five the number of U.S. bank failures this year following 92 closures in 2011.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Tennessee Commerce Bank of Franklin, Tenn., with $1.2 billion in assets and $1.1 billion in deposits, and First Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. of Jacksonville, Fla., with $377.9 million in assets and $349.5 million in deposits.