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    Arkansas Business: Stocks rise; unemployment rates don't change

    9:21 AM, Dec 23, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Time now to get a check of your Arkansas Business Headlines with Lance Turner.

    STOCK RISE

    Stocks ended higher on Friday after an unexpectedly strong report on the U.S. economy. The report helped push Wall Street to its best week in three months.

    The report from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S. economy grew at a healthy 4.1 percent annual pace between July and September. It's the latest positive piece of economic data investors have gotten in recent weeks.

    In all, the Dow ended the week up 3 percent -- its biggest gain since the week of Sept. 13. Meanwhile, the S&P and Nasdaq both ended the week up about 2.5 percent.

    TYSON FILES PROXY STATEMENT

    Here in Arkansas, Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale filed its annual proxy statement, showing salaries for its top executives.

    The filing showed that John Tyson, chairman of the board, was paid about $8 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 28; he also realized almost $12.5 million by exercising stock options. Records also showed that the company paid nearly $30 million to buy 1 million shares of Class B stock from Tyson LP -- the family-controlled company that owns virtually all the Class B stock under Tyson Foods' dual-share structure.

    Meanwhile, the highest-paid Tyson executive was CEO Donnie Smith, whose compensation increased by more than $2 million - from $7.8 million in fiscal 2012 to $9.8 million in the recently completed fiscal year.

    His compensation included a $3.7 million cash incentive payment. He realized an additional $147,400 on stock options.

    ARKANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

    The latest report on Arkansas' economy shows the unemployment rate unchanged in November from October, holding at 7.5 percent.

    The state Department of Workforce Services report showed the state's civilian labor force grew by 3,700 last month. During the same period, the U.S. jobless rate declined 3/10 of a percentage point, from 7.3 percent in October to 7 percent in November.

    Arkansas' unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in November 2012.

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