COLUMBIA -- Columbia-based SCANA has been added to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, a widely accepted benchmark of the stock market.
SCANA, a Fortune 500 company, replaces Merrill Lynch, which was one of three companies dropped from the highly regarded S&P stock list.
"It is very prestigious and an honor to be included in that group of companies," SCANA spokeswoman Roxanne Argo said Wednesday. "It's a good indicator that SCANA is considered to be financially sound."
Investors welcomed the news Wednesday as SCANA's shares rose $1.47 to $35.45 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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The S&P 500 includes 500 blue chip, large capitalized stocks, representing about "75 percent of the total U.S. equities market," according to the company's Web site.
For a company to be added to the S&P 500, it must have a market capitalization of at least $4 billion.
SCANA is a $10 billion energy-based holding company that sells electricity and natural gas through its subsidiaries.