LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks rise on Wednesday, with the S&P logging its biggest gain this month.

In fact, stocks have edged up since the start of the month as investors watch for developments in those "fiscal cliff" budget talks.

In all, stocks are holding on to their gains for the year. The Dow Jones is up 8.4 percent since the start of the year, while the S&P has gained 13.5 percent.

And later today, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce a new bond-buying plan to support the U.S. economy. The plan is aimed at further reducing long-term interest rates and encouraging borrowing by companies and individuals.

Once its two-day policy meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed is likely to say it will start buying more long-term Treasurys to replace a program that expires at year's end.

Here in Arkansas, theUniversity of Central Arkansas athletic department has signed a deal with a sports management company that's worth $3.3 million.

The deal, announced Tuesday, is with Peak Sports MGMT, which will sell corporate sponsorships and work to give UCA sports a greater presence in the region, through marketing, TV and radio.

UCA says the deal is for five years with three one-year renewal options.

UCA says Peak Sports is to build an enhanced radio or television network to further promote UCA sports in the Conway-Little Rock area.

And the Indian government saying it might soon investigate whether Wal-Mart spent lobbying dollars in India as the retailer worked to enter that market.

Opposition lawmakers in India's government are pushing for probe. Corporate lobbying is not allowed in that country.

Wal-Mart tells Bloomberg news that accusations that Wal-Mart spent money to lobby in India are "entirely false."

Indian regulators have been taking a hard look at Wal-Mart's $100 billion deal with Bharti Retail, which operates more than 200 supermarkets in India, and the web of companies Wal-Mart set up to enter the market.

In November, Wal-Mart's Indian joint venture announced that it had suspended several employees as part of Wal-Mart's own internal corruption investigation.

(Source: Arkansas Business)

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