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    Arkansas Business: Stocks down on lackluster earnings

    8:12 AM, Jan 23, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) - Stocks ended lower yesterday on some disappointing earnings results.

    The S&P the only one in positive territory, the index eking out its second small gain of the week Wednesday as investors pored over the latest earnings reports.

    Shares of Norfolk Southern climbed after the railroad company said its fourth-quarter profit rose 24 percent, better than Wall Street analysts had forecast.

    But there were also some high-profile disappointments.

    IBM fell after the computing company reported lower-than-expected revenue in the period.

    And AMD slumped after the chipmakers' first-quarter revenue outlook rattled investors.

    Argenta Market closing February 8

    The Argenta Market, the grocery store at 521 N. Main St. in North Little Rock that was a big part of the burgeoning redevelopment of downtown, announced Wednesday that it will close on Feb. 8.

    John Gaudin, head of the LLC that owns Argenta Market, said competition from major grocery retailers and the lingering effects of the recession were behind the decision to close.

    But he added that the owners were interested in finding a way to reopen the store using a new business model.

    The market was known as a purveyor of locally grown and manufactured foods and featured a full-service deli.

    The store opened in May 2010.

    Insurance "private option" renewal

    The Arkansas Chamber of Commerce is making a case for the state Legislature to renew the "private option" expansion of health insurance during the fiscal session that begins next month.

    The chamber, which represents business interests throughout the state, sharing a report with members yesterday that says businesses in Arkansas would face $27 million to $40 million in tax increases if the Legislature doesn't renew funding for the insurance expansion.

    Randy Zook, CEO of the chamber, said the additional expense will have, quote, a chilling effect on the growth plans of Arkansas businesses.

    Renewing the private option will take 27 votes in the 35-member Senate and 75 votes in the 100-member House.

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