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    Arkansas Business: Home sales up 10 percent in May

    6:07 AM, Jul 1, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks end the first half of the year on a down note on Friday, but there were some bright spots.

    The S&P ended the month of June down 1.5 percent, its first monthly loss since October.

    But the index also had its best first half of a year since 1998, up 12.6 percent. Still it was bumpy month that investors are happy to have finally gotten through.

    In June, the Dow moved up or down by at least 100 points in 16 of 20 trading days, the most since September 2011.

    FTC had concerns with proposed Mercy, Capella deal

    Here in Arkansas, some more details on that planned hospital merger in Hot Springs that was called off last week.

    Capella Healthcare of Franklin, Tenn., and Mercy Health of Chesterfield, Mo., had planned since last year to merge National Park Medical Center and Mercy Hot Springs under Capella's ownership.

    The merger had drawn opposition from several sides, including Catholic Church leaders, the church would have had to approve the deal because of its affiliation with Mercy Hospital.

    You can also add the Federal Trade Commission to the list of groups against the deal.

    The agency said late last week that it would have challenged the deal had it gone through saying it had evidence that the deal was anticompetitive and would likely have resulted in higher prices and, quote, diminished health care service in Hot Springs.

    Home sales up 10% in May

    And finally, the latest on home sales in Arkansas sees activity on the rise.

    The Arkansas Realtors Association reporting home sales in the state were up 10 percent in May compared to the same month last year.

    The association also said that the average price of homes sold the 43-county area it surveys increased by almost 3 percent to nearly $162,000.

    In all more than 2500 homes were sold in the ARA's survey area.

    Year to date, home sales in Arkansas are up nearly 10 percent from the same time in 2012.

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