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    Arkansas Business: Stocks end lower for 5th straight day

    7:13 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks end lower again on Wednesday. This, as investors continue to worry about the economy and the looming possibility of a government shutdown.

    Wal-Mart causing some pessimism on Wall Street

    Concerns about the world's largest retailer also caused some pessimism on Wall Street.

    Bloomberg reported that Wal-Mart is actually cutting inventory heading into the holiday shopping season as unsold merchandise piles up.

    That report helping to contribute to a 1.5 percent drop in Wal-Mart shares, which closed down a dollar-10 to $74.65.

    Wal-Mart, however, calling the report misleading and inaccurate and noting that it was based on one email from one of Wal-Mart's many buyers.

    A spokesman said the retailer is actually ordering more products in other categories.

    NWA economy outgrows peer Regions

    Elsewhere in Arkansas, a new report showing that the northwest Arkansas economy outgrew similar regions in 2011 and 2012.

    2013 State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report from the University of Arkansas' Sam Walton College of Business noted that employment in northwest Arkansas grew by 3 percent from 2011 to 2012 -- a rate that outpaced its peer regions, the state and the nation.

    The report also said the number of new businesses and the region's gross domestic product grew as well.

    In fact, when compared to competitor regions, northwest Arkansas was tied with the Tulsa region at 5.6 percent for the second lowest unemployment rate in 2012.

    That report, released in partnership with the Northwest Arkansas Council, also said that nearly 28 percent of adults in northwest Arkansas had attained a bachelor's degree or higher by 2011, while just over 20 percent of the state's adult population had advanced degrees.

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