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    Arkansas Business headlines Jan. 10

    7:42 AM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks up as investors see good news in the first earnings reports from last quarter.

    The Dow up 62 to 13-3-91, its first gain of the week. The Nasdaq up 14 to 31-06 and the S&P gained four to 14-61.

    A positive report from Alcoa on Tuesday helped push the market along. Helen of Troy, a public company that pushes products from Dr. Scholl's and Vidal Sassoon, saw its stock price jump 90 cents after saying its net income went up 15 percent in the last quarter.

    Walmart stock flat at $68.57. This, after the Bentonville retailer reversed course and said that it would participate in Vice-President Biden's talks on gun control and safety after all.

    The company had previously declined to take part in the meeting, due to schedule conflicts.

    State Rep. Darrin Williams will take over as Chief Executive Officer of Southern Bancorp Inc. effective Feb. 1.

    He will replace Walter Smiley at the $1 billion-asset community development bank holding company. Smiley will remain as chairman of the board.

    Williams, of Little Rock, represents District 36 in the Arkansas House of Representatives. A Democrat, he had been in line to serve as Speaker of the House until Republicans gained majorities in both legislative chambers this past November and called for a new House Speaker election.

    Wesley Clark getting a spot on the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission.

    The retired general and former presidential candidate was named Wednesday, along with Jesse Mason - a former vice-mayor of Little Rock - and Kay Kelley Arnold, a vice-president with Entergy and a former director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Arnold will serve as the Commission's Chair.

    The Commission sets policy on the airport, including last year changing the name of the facility to the Bill & HIllary Clinton National Airport.

    And two state senators from Oklahoma saying they could learn a thing or two from Arkansas.

    Republicans Anthony Sykes and Josh Brecheen were in Arkansas yesterday, getting tips on how their home state could have low workers' compensation rates like Arkansas.

    Oklahoma Republicans, who also control their state legislature, say one of their top goals for this year will be to reform their compensation procedures, currently one that uses a legal system.

    Arkansas premium rates, on the other hand, are below the national median.

    (Source: Arkansas Business)

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