Arkansas Business: Stocks break 4-day winning streak

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks break a four-day winning streak to end lower on Wednesday but much of the action was in the bond market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to its lowest in 11 months as investors continued to put money into the bond market, extending a rally there.

That rally has been a surprise to analysts.

Apple plans to buy Beats Electronics

A story first reported by the Financial Times earlier this month turned out to be true.

Apple, the maker of iPhones, iPads, Macs and the iTunes store, announcing a $3 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and speakers, and Beats Music, the company's subscription streaming music service.

The deal is the biggest purchase in Apple's history although the company, with more than $160 billion cash in the bank, can clearly afford it.

Apple says it will operate Beats Music separately from its iTunes services. It also said Beats executives and music industry giants Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as full-time employees.

Simmons First National to buy another bank

Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff announced that it's is buying yet another bank, it's fourth since November.

Simmons First said it will buy Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Springfield, Missouri, in an all-stock transaction valued at about $207 million.

The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter, and once it does, Simmons First will become the second-largest financial holding company headquartered in Arkansas with nearly $8 billion in assets.

Arvest Bank of Bentonville is No. 1, with more than $14 billion in assets. Simmons just completed its acquisition of French Hill's Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock and is still working to complete another $200 million-plus deal for a bank in Tennessee.

Last year, it purchase Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock at auction for about $54 million.


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