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    Ark. Business: Stocks, stocks, stocks

    10:47 AM, Dec 24, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Stocks end higher as investors prepare for the end of the year. First, let's take a look at the numbers.

    STOCKS RISE AS NEW YEAR APPROACHES

    Stocks are higher amid light trading ahead of the Christmas holiday. Just 2.8 billion shares traded hands; that's below the recent average of 3.4 million.

    Among stocks making moves yesterday was Apple. Its shares went up 4 percent to $570.09 after the iPhone maker reached a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest cell phone provider, to sell the device in the world's most populous country.

    In all, tech stocks in the S&P rose 1.5 percent, more than twice the broader index.

    DILLARD'S STOCKS BREAK ALL-TIME HIGH

    Shares of the Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock stock broke its all-time high on Friday, closing at 95.58 -- up 3 percent on Thursday's close.

    On Monday, shares closed up less than 1 percent at $96.29. In November, Dillard's marked 13 consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth. It also announced a new share buyback program.

    LOCAL STOCK SEE DOUBLE DIGIT RETURNS

    Other Arkansas stocks have seen success this year. In fact, as of last week, five of Arkansas' publicly traded firms have seen double-digit returns on stock this year.

    Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock topped $36 last week, double its December 2012 price.

    Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, which split its stock and then acquired Liberty Bancshares of Jonesboro, marked an annual return of about 125 percent.

    P.A.M. Transportation Services, the Tontitown trucking firm, started 2013 under $10 a share but ended above $20.

    Arkansas Best Corp. of Fort Smith saw its stock nearly triple thanks to a favorable contract it won with the Teamsters union.

    And finally, USA Truck of Van Buren, which got a new CEO and an unwelcome takeover attempt by Knight Transportation of Phoenix, saw its stock price rise by 330 percent.

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