BIW gets modified contract for DDG 1000 destroyer work

BATH – Bath Iron Works, which employs about 5,400 workers, said it received a $26 million modification to an existing contract for work on the DDG 1000 class of destroyers.

“We’re very happy to get that work,” BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said. “It allows us to continue doing what we’re doing. No new people will be hired.”

The contract calls for detailed design and construction work, including technical and industrial engineering on the DDG 1000 destroyers, said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority share owner of the Portland Press Herald.

“The contract will help keep workers on the job designing and building the DDG 1000 this winter and help keep the work force at BIW on the job,” Pingree said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the destroyer Michael Murphy left BIW and headed out to sea. Its homeport will be Pearl Harbor. BIW is a unit of General Dynamics Corp.

Verso ceases merger talks with Rumford mill owner

The corporation that owns two Maine paper mills is no longer discussing a merger with the company that owns a Rumford mill.

Verso Paper Corp. says it has ceased merger discussions with NewPage Corp.

Verso President and CEO David Paterson said Wednesday that the Memphis, Tenn.-based company will focus on “internal growth projects and other potential strategic alternatives.” Verso operates mills in Jay and Bucksport, and in Quinnesec, Mich.

Ohio-based NewPage did not support Verso’s discussions, announced in July.

NewPage, which operates mills in Rumford as well as five other states and Nova Scotia, last month filed a Chapter 11 restructuring plan with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Stock market soars on news of concrete plan for Europe

NEW YORK – The last time the stock market was this high, the Great Recession was just getting started and stocks were pointed toward a head-first descent.

But on Thursday, the market moved swiftly in the other direction. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared to its highest level since January 2008, and the Dow Jones industrial average hit its highest mark since December 2007.

A concrete plan to support struggling countries in Europe provided the necessary jolt, and the gains were extraordinarily broad. European markets surged and U.S. Treasury bond prices dropped as traders sold low-risk investments. All but 13 stocks in the S&P 500 index rose.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared 28.68 points to close at 1,432.12. The Dow jumped 244.52 points to 13,292.

The Nasdaq composite index also reached a milestone, gaining 66.54 points to 3,135.81. That’s its highest level in 12 years.

European stock markets soared, with Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 each rallying 3 percent.

The gains were even larger in Spain and Italy, the two largest countries to get caught up in the region’s long-running government debt crisis. Spain’s benchmark index soared 5 percent, Italy’s 4 percent.

— From news service reports