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    Arkansas Business: Consumer spending up in August

    6:13 AM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks were up broadly on Friday, giving the Dow its best week since January. This, as the market got a lift from two economic reports, one showing that inflation remained tame in August and the other showing that Americans spent more at stores last month.

    Consumer spending up in August

    The Commerce Department said Americans increased their spending modestly in August, up 0.2 percent. That was the good news, the number was actually half of what economists expected. The sales report was also a bit mixed.

    Shoppers spent more on cars, electronics and furniture, but they didn't buy much else.

    Last month, several retail chains including Nordstrom, Macy's and Wal-Mart cut their profit forecasts for the year.

    In all, the Dow closed up 3 percent for the week -- its best five-day performance since the week ending Jan. 4.

    Investors keeping close watch on the fed

    And also looking at Wall Street investors will be closely eyeing the Federal Reserve Board this week.

    The board holds its regular monthly meeting on fiscal policy on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Some analysts think the Fed might begin easing offs its bond-buying efforts which have help stimulate the economy by keeping interest rates low.

    The Fed will announce results of its meeting on Wednesday.

    Fort Smith dentist battles state board

    A Fort Smith orthodontist is sparring with the state Board of Dental Examiners over a practice that might be a violation of the Dental Practice Act.

    Dr. Ben Burris, who operates five northeast Arkansas clinics under the name Braces by Burris, told the Arkansas Board of Dental Examiners Friday that he offers teeth cleanings to any patient who wants one in order to increase access to dental care.

    Some in the industry, particularly dentists, see the move as a violation of a law that prohibits orthodontists from practicing outside their specialty.

    Burris disagrees and has been offering the service since June. He said he charges $98 for adults and $68 for children.

    The dental board quizzed Burris for about an hour on Friday. A ruling is expected sometime this week.

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