SC business notebook

April 2, 2013 

Chernoff Newman lands Florida account

Chernoff Newman, an advertising, public relations and marketing communications firm with its headquarters in Columbia, has been selected to provide media planning and placement services for the “Fresh From Florida” brand.

The brand is being promoted by the Florida Department of Agriculture to encourage sales of locally grown Florida products. Its TV campaign will air across Florida on network and cable.

Dow sets another record

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high Tuesday – up 89.16 points to 14,662.01 – after reports on auto sales and factory orders provided the latest evidence the U.S. economy is strengthening. Traders also plowed money back into European stocks as the financial situation in Cyprus appeared to stabilize.

Companies making big moves included Urban Outfitters, soon to open an outlet in Columbia’s Vista. Its stock rose $1.46, or 3.8 percent, to $39.87.

Factory orders up 3 percent in February

U.S. factories rose sharply in February on a surge in demand for volatile aircraft. The Commerce Department said Tuesday factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That’s up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.

The increase was due mostly to a jump in orders for commercial aircraft. Those orders rose 95.1 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and parts also increased 1.4 percent. Orders for all durable goods, products expected to last at least three years, jumped 5.6 percent. Orders for nondurable goods, such as processed food and clothing, rose 0.8 percent.

Customers pack Connecticut gun stores

Customers are packing gun stores around Connecticut, concerned about a bipartisan gun-control agreement reached by state lawmakers that will ban the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines and more than 100 new types of guns in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The General Assembly is to vote today. In a state with a rich gun manufacturing history, companies say they are being made into scapegoats.

Euro area unemployment at record 12 percent

The Euro zone economy has passed another bleak milestone. Official figures Tuesday showed unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has hit 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.

Spain and Greece have mass unemployment and many other countries are seeing their numbers swell to uncomfortably high levels as governments across the region enact tough austerity measures to get a handle on their debts.

From staff and Associated Press reports

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