Business Notebook

08/01/2014 12:00 AM

07/31/2014 9:09 PM

Local & State

Coast

Developer wants to buy part of port

Developer Dick Stewart has made a $4 million offer to the S.C. State Ports Authority to purchase a portion of the Port of Port Royal, according to a letter dated Thursday and obtained by the Beaufort Gazette.

Realtor Rob Lapin of NAI Avant, which is handling the property for the Ports Authority, said there is a lot of interest in the property, but no portion of it is currently under contract for sale. In his letter, Stewart said he is prepared to close on the sale in 60 days. He seeks to purchase 25.64 acres. That includes 10.8 acres that would be reserved for public open space and likely would be transferred to the town of Port Royal.

Stewart’s letter indicates he will seek no changes to the planned unit development that the town created for the property. The port has been vacant since 2004, when it was deemed too expensive to continue operating. The Ports Authority was ordered to sell the land, but three attempts since 2006 to do so have fallen through.

Nation & World

Stocks tumble on weak corporate earnings

U.S. stocks had their worst one-day drop since February as traders worried about weak corporate earnings and the looming end of economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The drop interrupted a prolonged advance in the market and erased its gains for July. It was only the second monthly loss for stocks this year, after January.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 317 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 16,563 Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 39 points, or 2 percent, to 1,930. The Nasdaq composite dropped 93 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,369. The S&P 500 closed at a record high just one week ago.

Whole Foods Market, Yum Brands and Exxon Mobil were among companies that fell after reporting results or forecasts that disappointed investors.

Borrowing for college declines

Americans are borrowing less for college, and instead relying more on savings and income, a study from a student lender found. In the 2013-2014 school year, the typical family paid 22 percent of the total college cost through borrowing, according to Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College study. That’s down from 27 percent in the previous two years.

Meanwhile, the share of college costs paid through savings and income rose. Student savings and income paid for 12 percent of costs on average, up from 11 percent in the previous year. Parent savings and income rose from 27 percent to 30 percent.

A large reason behind the shift was that parents making more than $100,000 significantly boosted their contributions to their children’s education. The typical low-income family, however, also is borrowing less. More of their college cost was paid for with income and savings as well, although the decline in borrowing largely came from the increased use of grants and scholarships. On average, families earning less than $35,000 paid for 45 percent of the costs for college with grants and scholarships, compared to 37 percent a year earlier.

The average family spent $20,882 on college last school year, similar to the last three years, but off a peak of $24,097 in 2010. The (Hilton Head) Island Packet, The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times contributed.

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