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    Arkansas Business: Wal-mart brings back free layaway for holidays

    6:55 AM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The Dow ended lower for the sixth straight day after minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting reveal that its top officials are mostly in agreement that the central bank should end its massive bond-buying program.

    In the minutes released yesterday, board members said it -- quote -- "might soon be time" to slow the purchases.

    The bond-buying program has been in place since late 2008 to keep interest rates low and encourage economic growth.

    Some investors believe that bond-buying program has inflated stock prices.

    Arkansas Business Health Care Symposium

    About 300 business and nonprofit managers on Wednesday attended Arkansas Business' Health Care Symposium at the Statehouse Convention Center.

    Speakers at the event, designed to get businesses up to speed on the requirements tied to health care reform, told employers that they should assess their business quickly to determine a plan of action that minimizes risk as reforms come online.

    They also gave an overview of the law's myriad reporting requirements and tax implications.

    Wal-mart brings back free layaway for holidays

    Retailers, having just gotten through back-to-school shopping, are moving on to the year's marquee event: holiday shopping.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville taking the first steps in that direction on Wednesday. The retailer announcing that it is bringing back free layaway this holiday season.

    Previously, a fee of $5 has been charged to open a layaway account. Free layaway begins Sept. 13 and runs through Dec. 13.

    This year, Wal-Mart Facebook fans will have access to layaway items two days early on Sept. 11.

    The retailer is also adding about 1,000 more eligible layaway items to the mix, bringing the total to 35,500.

    Wal-Mart said its most popular layaway items include toys and electronics such as tablets, smartphones, big screen TVs and video games.

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