South Carolina stocks ran with the bulls in 2013

The (Charleston) Post and CourierJanuary 8, 2014 

US STOCKS

The reflection of a trader working is seen on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.

JIN LEE — Bloomberg

Like horns on a bull, the numbers all pointed in the same direction – up – for shares of South Carolina’s publicly traded companies in 2013, reflecting the banner year for U.S. stocks.

Not one company in this small club ended on a down note.

A fictional $10,000 investment spread evenly across the unsanctioned Palmetto State industrial index last year would have grown to about $13,930 by the time the stock market closed the last day of the year.

This speculative grouping of 21 South Carolina-based employers is limited to those that list their shares on major stock exchanges, namely the Nasdaq and the Big Board.

The company that posted the tiniest increase also happens to be one of the biggest publicly traded businesses in South Carolina. SCANA Corp., the Cayce-based owner of S.C. Electric & Gas, eked out a gain of less than 3 percent from wire to wire in 2013.

Also in the Midlands, fast growing SCBT, which merged last year with Charleston’s First Financial Holdings, gained 60 percent to $66.51. Hartsville-based Sonoco jumped 37 percent to $41.72. And First Community Bank in Lexington saw a 24 percent increase to $10.40.

Elsewhere around the state, investors in Rock Hill’s 3D Systems relished the fattest 2013 payoff. Shares of the fast-growing, three-dimensional printing machine maker soared 161 percent to nearly $93 last year.,

As a whole, Palmetto State stock prices rose about 39.3 percent on average last year.

That was enough to handily beat two of the three major U.S. indexes: The S&P 500 ended up 29.6 percent, for its best year since 1997, while the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average turned in its top performance since 1995 with a 26.5 percent increase.

Of course, it isn’t wise to risk hard-earned dollars in a narrow, state-focused investment strategy. But once a year it can be fun to keep score.

Staff writer Kristy Eppley Rupon contributed.

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