Arkansas Business: Stocks roller coaster after holiday

    8:41 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Dow fell after a weak outlook from health care giant Johnson & Johnson. Shares of Verizon Communications, another member of the index, was also down after reporting earnings.

    Still, the S&P moving higher after getting a lift from a pair of materials companies, Dow Chemical and aluminum company Alcoa, which rose after analysts at JPMorgan recommended buying the stock.

    Retirement breach of contract ruling

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ruling Tuesday that National Timber Partners f Williamstown, Mass., breached its contract with the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System.

    Fox order the firm to pay the retirement system $16.5 million.

    According to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office -- which sued National Timber in September -- National Timber had a contract with the system to purchase its interest in an investment fund in three installments totaling $110 million.

    But McDaniel said National Timber failed to pay all of the second installment and none of its final installment.

    In his ruling, Fox granted McDaniel's motion for default judgment. He ordered National Timber to pay $16.5 million -- that includes money owed to the retirement system and $500,000 in pre-judgment interest.

    ARK Challenge startup to Little Rock

    A big start-up boot camp is on its way to Little Rock.

    Organizers have announced that Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, will direct the ARK Challenge business accelerator, set to come downtown this summer.

    The ARK Challenge is one of several startup boot camps across the country funded by a $37 million federal Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge grant.

    The ARK Challenge has completed two rounds in Fayetteville, the most recent naming three winners last fall.

    The Little Rock ARK Challenge will be headquartered somewhere downtown, mostly likely on Main Street near the Statehouse Convention Center.

    The program lasts about three months. It could begin in August.

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