LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Good news about American jobs and discouraging news from Europe basically cancelling each other out with a flat market on Thursday.
The Labor Department says the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in three weeks at 341,000 applications. Looking past levels during the holiday season, that's the lowest unemployment number in almost five years.
And then there's Europe.
Germany says its economy shrank more than what analysts had predicted, showing signs of trouble in a region that has been very profitable for U.S. companies.
Former Little Rock company CFO indicted
Andrew T. Melton, former chief financial officer of ThermoEnergy Corp. of Worcester, Mass., was indicted on 12 counts of mail fraud linked with allegations that he stole nearly $110,000 from the company.
Formerly of Little Rock, ThermoEnergy, a wastewater treatment and power generation technology company, moved its headquarters to Massachusetts in 2011.
From 1986 to 1994, Melton served as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of Worthen Banking Corp., which was acquired by Boatmen's Bancshares of St. Louis and later become part of NationsBank.
Halter opposes changes to lottery-funded scholarships
Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter says a proposal to change the state's lottery-funded scholarships would undermine the intent of the program.
Halter said Thursday that the proposal is ill-advised because it would reduce the number of students able to enter college. Halter spearheaded the effort to have voters approve the program in 2008.
A House panel approved the proposal Wednesday. It would replace the current $4,500 award for 4-year college students with a tiered structure of awards that starts at $2,000 for freshmen and would increase by $1,000 each year as students advance.
Halter, a Democrat, is running for governor in 2014.
(Source: Arkansas Business)