Arkansas Business: Stocks across the board on Wall Street

    7:19 AM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks finishing Monday with small gains across several industries from airlines to steelmakers as the big indexes continued to trade near record highs.

    All 10 industries tracked in the S&P 500 rose, and twice as many stocks rose as fell. Some industries rose sharply, including steelmakers, homebuilders, and airlines.

    Monday's modest gains continued a powerful rally in the market that has driven the S&P 500 index up nearly 24 percent this year.

    The S&P 500 has closed at records seven times in October, most recently on Oct. 29.

    Big River Steel Mill construction delay

    There is a delay in construction for the $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill near Osceola.

    This, as competitor Nucor Steel attempts to block the opening of the mill by objecting to Big River's requests for environmental permits.

    Nucor has two steel plants in the area and its' been against the Big River Steel project since the beginning.

    In a filing with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Nucor claims that the AEDQ has a conflict of interest in regulating the plant because the state has pledged funding to help get the mill built.

    Nucor also claims the agency lacked key information when it approved the permit.

    Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokesman Joe Holmes saying that, as a result, construction on Big River Steel has now been pushed back to the first quarter 2014 as a result.

    It was to have started this year.

    Push to purchase Arkansas truck company

    Knight Transportation Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz. is continuing to push its case for a takeover of USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren which has already rejected the offer.

    In a news release Monday, Knight said USA Truck's recent third-quarter financial results show, quote, "only limited improvement," and that USA Truck's turnaround plan is, quote, "fraught with significant execution risk."

    An administrative assistant to USA Truck CEO John Simone said Monday that the company didn't "have a statement at this time."

    Knight revealed in September that it had offered USA Truck $9 per share in cash for the company in August. USA Truck rejected the offering, saying it undervalued the company.

    Since Knight made the offer public, USA Truck's share price (Nasdaq: USAK) has risen 55 percent to more than $13.

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