BIW gets extra $38.9 million for work on new destroyers

BATH – Bath Iron Works has received a $38.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract to perform services associated with the detail design and construction of DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers, the U.S. Navy said.

The DDG 1000 is the Navy’s next-generation, guided-missile destroyer.

The contract modification will allow BIW to continue to provide services such as engineering, design, production control, accuracy control and information technology. Other work includes program management, contract and financial management, procurement and configuration/data management.

The original contract was awarded in September 2011 and the work is expected to be completed by October 2013.

“With all three Zumwalt-class ships now under construction, this award demonstrates the Navy’s continued confidence in Bath Iron Works. The contract enables us to continue supporting the construction of DDG 1000-class ships and allows us to maintain the critical shipyard skills needed to efficiently produce them,” said Jeff Geiger, president of BIW.

Bath Iron Works, a unit of General Dynamics, employs about 5,400 workers.

Home sales up 15 percent in Maine during August

SOUTH PORTLAND – Sales of existing single-family homes in Maine increased 15 percent in August over a year ago, with the median sales price rising 3 percent.

The Maine Association of Realtors said real estate agents sold 1,255 homes in Maine last month, up from 1,090 in August 2011. The median sales price was $170,000, up from $165,000 a year earlier.

For the three-month period from June through August, the number of home sales rose in 14 of Maine’s 16 counties.

The highest-priced homes were in Cumberland County, where the median sales price was $229,900.

The lowest-priced homes were in Aroostook County, where the median sales price was $80,000.

Blue-chip stocks inch higher in lackluster day for markets

SAN FRANCISCO – Blue-chip stocks posted a slight gain Thursday, but most stocks finished lower after economic reports from the United States, China and the eurozone did little to curb concerns about the world economy.

“China is slowing and Europe, I would argue, is already in a recession,” said T. Doug Dale, chief investment officer of Security Ballew Wealth Management in Jackson, Miss.

“Any objective investor would understand what has been causing stock rallies is not fundamentals, but central-bank intervention,” Dale said.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 18.97 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,596.93. The S&P 500 index shed 0.79 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 1,460.26. The Nasdaq composite index declined 6.66 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 3,175.96.

“Nobody has a clear understanding of where the data is going to take us,” said Chip Cobb, portfolio manager at BMT Asset Management. “It’s a very benign recovery, and we all want it to be quicker, more sustainable and more defined, but the reality is we have a weak employment market and maybe a stabilization in the housing market,” he said.

— From news service reports