LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks ending modestly higher Monday, shrugging off an early decline as investors waited to see whether big U.S. companies would deliver on expectations of strong earnings in 2013.
Alcoa became the first major U.S. company to report earnings late Monday. The aluminum maker's income was higher than analysts were expecting, but its revenue fell short of expectations.
JC Penney ousts CEO
In other corporate news, JC Penney ousted its CEO, Ron Johnson.
The retailer's board of directors fired Johnson yesterday after only 16 months on the job. This comes after a risky turnaround strategy backfired and led to massive losses and steep sales drops.
Penney's rehired Johnson's predecessor, Mike Ullman
Hopes had been high for Johnson, who was the mastermind behind Apple's retail stores and before that, Target's turnaround.
Big River Steel funding approved in House
Here in Arkansas, the Arkansas House overwhelmingly approving a plan to provide $125 million in state financing for construction of a new steel mill.
Lawmakers voted 78 to 17 for the bill, which authorizes Arkansas to issue bonds to provide a loan and pay some construction costs of a $1.1 billion steel facility in Osceola that will employ 500 people. The Senate has already approved the plan.
A supermajority of 75 House lawmakers will still have to sign off on a budget bill before the proposal is finalized. House Speaker Davy Carter has said he expects that vote.
And there was word of still more jobs for Osceola.
More jobs coming to Osceola
A company called Indigo Resources planning a rail-to-barge oil terminal to that area, which could bring as many as 200 permanent jobs.
Indigo also said it will hire 600 to 800 people for construction alone. The company plans to place a priority on hiring military veterans.
Located along the Mississippi River, the rail-to-barge terminal will unload crude oil and other petroleum products produced in Canada and in North Dakota.
The 480-acre terminal will be built on 610 acres and include 3,000 feet of river frontage and five rail loop tracks.
(Source: Arkansas Business)