LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks ended higher on Thursday, but not before giving back some gains.
Weekly unemployment applications fell
There was good economic news to be had. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 16,000 to 339,000, that's the second-lowest level in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.
Oaklawn promotes assistant general manager
Here in Arkansas, Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs is promoting its assistant general manager to racing director.
The thoroughbred track announced the promotion on Thursday, naming David Longinotti to the position.
As racing director, Longinotti will oversee the full racing operation, including staffing and distribution of purses.
Longinotti has worked at Oaklawn since 2006, after having worked as an account executive for Little Rock ad agency Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods.
Panama president to speak at Univ. of Arkansas commencement
Also: a prominent alumnus is headed back to the University of Arkansas for next month's commencement ceremonies.
Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, a 1973 UA graduate, is scheduled to speak May 11 at UA's All University Commencement.
Martinelli will also receive an honorary degree, a Doctor of Humane Letters.
Martinelli visited the UA campus in 2010. He first ran for president of Panama in 2004, finishing last among four candidates. He ran again in 2009 -- and won with 60 percent of the votes.
And finally, a big milestone for the state's housing industry.
Crye-Leike posting big Arkansas home sales
After 15 years in the Arkansas market, Crye-Leike Realtors posting residential home sales of more than $1 billion in 2012.
That's according to data from Arkansas Business' list this week of the state's largest real estate agencies.
Those results are coming from the company's 572 agents around Arkansas.
In all, Crye-Leike's residential operations in Arkansas accounted for 22 percent of the company's $4.5 billion in sales during 2012.
Crye-Leike has operations throughout the South.