Arkansas Business: Stocks fall as squabbling in DC continues

    8:19 AM, Oct 9, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The market's moderate losses in the first days of the partial government shutdown accelerating this week as the U.S. has moves closer to an Oct. 17 deadline for lifting the government's borrowing authority.

    On Tuesday, stocks opened flat, moved steadily lower and slumped in the final minutes of trading.

    The loss added to a three-week decline that has knocked the S&P down 4 percent since it hit a record high on Sept. 18.

    Meanwhile, the president joining others who warn that the US risks a "very deep recession" if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

    Nervous investors are already dumping short-term government debt as they worry that the standoff could jeopardize the nation's ability to pay its bills.

    August home sales up 24%

    The Arkansas Realtors Association said Tuesday that home sales rose more than 24 percent in August, while the average price of those homes sold dropped by less than 1 percent.

    According to the report, more than 28-hundred homes sold in August in the 43-county area the association surveys.

    The average sale price meanwhile was $164,373, down 0.3 percent from last year.

    In all, from the beginning of the year through the August period, home sales in Arkansas are up nearly 13 percent, with more than 18-thousand homes changing hands.

    34 on list of largest hospitals report losing money

    Arkansas Business' annual look at the profitability of the state's hospitals shows 34 of 88 hospitals on our list "or 38 percent" reported losing money.

    That's slightly higher than last year, when 35 percent reported losing money.

    Paul Cunningham, executive vice president of the Arkansas Hospital Association, said that historically, about a third of the hospitals on the list report net losses.

    The hospital with the biggest net loss this year was St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock.

    It reported a loss of $39.3 million for its fiscal year that ended June 30. The previous year, it had a net income of $7.7 million.

    The most profitable hospital on the list: Arkansas Children's Hospital of Little Rock, which made $32.9 million.

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