Local & State
Bennettsville wood plant expanding
A Bennettsville particleboard and laminate plant is expanding so that it can produce 60 million additional square feet yearly, the plant owners announced Monday.
Arauco, a global sustainable forest products company, is investing $30 million to enlarge its Marlboro County plant, the company said.
The expansion will allow the plant to increase its particleboard volume by 60 million square feet annually as well as to grow its thermally fused laminate operations. The enlarged particleboard section is expected to start producing in the last quarter of this year. The laminate portion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.
Nation & World
Who would have guessed bull market in 2007?
In 2009 the stock market was filled with panic. The housing market had collapsed. Lehman Brothers had gone under and General Motors was on the verge of bankruptcy reorganization.
Stocks had plunged 57 percent from their high in October 2007.
Fast forward six years, and investors are enjoying one of the longest bull markets since the 1940s.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has more than tripled since bottoming out on March 9, 2009. The bull has pushed through a U.S. debt crisis, an escalating conflict in the Middle East, renewed tensions with Russia and Europe’s stagnating economy.
So has this bull run its course? Most market strategists haven’t yet seen the signs that typically accompany a market peak. Investors are yet to become rash, or overconfident.
GM compensating more families in ignition switch cases
Families of at least 64 people killed in crashes caused by defective General Motors ignition switches will get compensation from the company.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to compensate victims, updated the total Monday. It was up from 57 last week.
An additional 108 injured people also are eligible for compensation.
The fund received a total of 4,343 claims by the Jan. 31 deadline.
• HBO announced Monday that its new stand-alone Internet streaming service will cost $14.99 a month and be available exclusively on Apple devices when it makes its debut in early April, in time for the new season of its most-watched series, “Game of Thrones.”
• The Supreme Court has sided with the Obama administration in upholding a rule making mortgage brokers eligible for overtime pay under federal labor law.
• With its wings stretched wide to catch the sun’s energy, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft took off Monday from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel.
From Staff and Wire Reports