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    Arkansas Business: Stocks hit highs after stimulus decision

    6:38 AM, Sep 19, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The stock market hit a record high Wednesday as investors cheered the Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its economic stimulus program in place. In all, the S&P and Dow both beat previous all-time highs set on Aug. 2.

    All this, after Fed policymakers decided to maintain the central bank's $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, a program that has been in place since December 2012.

    The bond purchases have kept interest rates low and encouraged investors to buy stocks.

    But while the economy appears to be improving, the bank's policymakers decided to wait for more evidence that progress will be sustained before deciding to slow the bond purchases.

    The bank also cut its full-year economic outlook for this year and next.

    Windstream Holdings Inc. CEO in Washington

    And speaking of the economy, Windstream Holdings Inc. CEO Jeff Gardner in Washington DC yesterday -- part of group of CEOs from major American companies meeting with the president and Congress on economic matters.

    Gardner is part of Business Roundtable, which surveys CEOs each quarter on their six-month outlook for the economy.

    The most recent survey showing continued slow economic growth and a hesitancy among CEOs to hire workers.

    Some of that they attribute to political stalemate in Washington as Congress and the president prepare to deal with deficit and the budget.

    Gardner and the other groups urging the president and Congress to work together toward comprehensive tax reform, which they say will help businesses feel more confident about making new business investments.

    Bielema's employment contract with U of A

    The University of Arkansas released details of its contract with Razorbacks football coach Bret Bielema, now in the thick of his first year in Fayetteville.

    Bielema's total contract valued at $3.2 million over six years. The deal also includes a $12.8 million buyout for the first three years of contract and there's an array of incentives for certain athletic achievements.

    Bielema will get an extra $100,000 for winning an SEC Championship, an extra $350,000 for winning a National Championship, and an extra $300,000 for appearing in a National Championship game.

    You can download the complete contract and see it all for yourself at ArkansasBusiness.com.

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