Arkansas Business: Stocks ended mixed on Friday after jobs report

    8:17 AM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Investors were thrown for a loop on Friday after a strange December jobs report.

    In fact, final numbers suggest that most investors likely see the report as flawed.

    The Labor Department reported Friday that only 74,000 jobs were added in December, the least in three years and far fewer than economists expected.

    The unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, but mostly because many people stopped looking for work, the government said.

    That jobs report is at odds with weeks of reports showing a steadily strengthening economy.

    Last Wednesday, payroll processor ADP estimated that private businesses created 238,000 jobs in December.

    Changes at one of the state's largest general contractors

    Baldwin & Shell Construction Co. of Little Rock announced Saturday that Scott Copas has succeeded Bob Shell as the 68-year-old firm's president and CEO.

    Shell, who's been with the firm since 1953, has become chairman. The company also announced a host of other personnel changes and promotions.

    Baldwin & Shell claimed revenue of $98.7 million in 2012 and ranked fifth on Arkansas Business' most recent list of the state's largest general contractors.

    $80 million investment in natural gas

    There's some new investment in natural gas in Arkansas, but not in the Fayetteville Shale.

    Bonanza Creek of Denver announced last week that it will invest $80 million this year to drill around 50 natural gas wells in south Arkansas.

    The company is drilling in the McKamie Patton and Dorcheat-Macedonia fields -- which are in Columbia and Lafayette counties.

    The company will also spend an additional $4.5 million in infrastructure projects and wells connected to the project.

    The company said it's had good results from test wells in the area and is planning to increase production there.

    Publicly traded companies to release earnings reports

    Earnings season comes to Arkansas this week.

    We'll begin hearing from the state's publicly traded bank companies this week, including Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, which is scheduled to report after market close on Thursday.

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