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    Arkansas Business: Stocks not making much of a jump

    8:07 AM, Feb 6, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Another lackluster day on Wall Street as a company's survey on hiring did little to lift investor spirits.

    A report by payroll processor ADP showed that U.S. businesses added jobs at a steady but modest pace in January, a sign that hiring has rebounded after a disappointing figure in December.

    ADP said companies added 175,000 jobs last month. That's down from 227,000 in December, which was revised lower.

    But it was still much better than the government's official figure of just 74,000 new jobs in December.

    ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government's more comprehensive monthly report, due out Friday.

    Metropolitan unemployment rates

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that unemployment rates were down or steady in four of six Arkansas metros in December.

    Metros whose rates fell from December 2012 to 2013 were Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, now at 4.9 percent, Fort Smith, now at 7.6 percent, and Jonesboro, now at 6.6 percent.

    The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro remained steady at 6.2 percent. The jobless rate in Hot Springs rose to 7.5 percent, the rate in Pine Bluff rose to 9.8.

    The unemployment rate in Arkansas in December was up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.2 percent.

    Guilty plea for Internet Ponzi scheme

    A Clarksville resident and her stepson pleading guilty Wednesday morning in North Carolina to their roles in an Internet Ponzi scheme.

    Dawn Wright-Olivares, 45, and Daniel Olivares, 31, waived their right to be indicted by a grand jury and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Charlotte to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    In the hearing, Dawn Wright-Olivares, identified as the COO of a North Carolina-based scam called Zeekler and ZeekRewards, pleaded guilty to one count of investment fraud conspiracy and one count of tax fraud conspiracy.

    Daniel Olivares, the operation's senior technology officer, pleaded guilty to one count of investment fraud conspiracy.

    Both have agreed to pay restitution, more than $11 million between them.

    No sentencing hearing has been scheduled.

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