S&P 500 hits a record high after US debt deal

NEW YORK — The stock market hit an all-time high Thursday as Wall Street put the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis behind it and focused on corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 rose 11.61 to close at 1,733.15, a record close. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the index finished higher.

The market rose throughout the day as investors got back to focusing on corporate earnings and economic data. American Express and Verizon rose the most in the Dow Jones industrial average after reporting earnings that beat expectations.

The Dow ended down 2.18 to 15,371.65, held back by declines in IBM, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth. The Nasdaq closed up 23.71 to 3,863.15.

SunTrust is cutting 800 jobs at mortgage unit

ATLANTA — SunTrust Banks has informed employees that it will cut 800 positions in its mortgage business.

The bank joins others in a trend that’s led to lost jobs as mortgage interest rates rise and fewer homeowners refinance their loans, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

SunTrust spokesman Michael McCoy said the cuts reflect current market conditions, particularly the reduced volume of mortgage loan refinancing. The reductions will occur over the next several months.

SunTrust, which has offices in Charleston, has about 4,200 employees in its mortgage unit.

BB&T’s 3Q net income falls on big tax charge

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Regional bank owner BB&T said Thursday its third quarter net income dropped 43 percent to $268 million after it took a large income tax charge.

BB&T recorded a $235 million tax adjustment during the quarter. The company said in September that a court had ruled against it in a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. The company paid the full assessment in 2010 but it had hoped to recover the money.

BB&T has more than 1,800 branches in 12 states, including South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

Profit at Nucor jumps on higher prices, sales

CHARLOTTE — Nucor Corp. said Thursday its third-quarter net income jumped nearly 34 percent to $147.6 million on higher prices and improved sales volume. Revenue rose 3 percent to $4.94 billion.

The steelmaker said earnings were hurt by a partial write-down of $14 million, or 3 cents per share, associated with the collapse of a storage dome in Louisiana. Nucor has a large steel mill in Berkeley County.

Google’s earnings rise 36%, revenue up 12%

SAN FRANCISCO — Google’s earnings climbed 36 percent to nearly $3 billion despite a deepening slump in its average ad prices as more people connect to its search engine and other services on mobile devices. Revenue climbed 12 percentto $14.9 billion. The results released Thursday exceeded analysts’ projections.

The company’s average ad price has declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters primarily because advertisers aren’t yet paying as much for mobile ads.

Google has a large data center near Goose Creek.

U.S. 30-year mortgage rate edges up to 4.28%

WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, staying near three-month lows. Rates could fall next week now that lawmakers averted a possible debt default and reopened the federal government.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent. The average on the 15-year fixed loan edged up to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent.

Staff and wire reports