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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Apple Inc. was up nearly three percent after rival Samsung said it wouldn't ask a judge to pull some Apple products from the European market that in the latest round of patent disputes between the firms.

And Allstate Corp up 1.4 percent after its board approved a $1.5 billion buyback.

Meanwhile, in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner telling reporters he's hopeful an end to the fiscal cliff problem could happen soon, investors starting to look forward to 2013.

This, as analysts point out that tax hikes and spending cuts will still be a part of any solution.

Here in Arkansas, Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock has settled with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over two company policies that the government says violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One policy, abandoned in 2007, required employees to provide "a doctor's note identifying the nature of their medical condition in order to have a medical absence excused." The other policy called for "a maximum leave period for medical related absences."

Dillard's denied that either policy violated the ADA but said it settled with the EEOC to avoid "further protracted litigation" over "policies that are no longer in effect."

Also yesterday, the former CEO of the Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic waived an indictment and pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. Federal Court to one count of obtaining hydrocodone by fraud.

According to prosecutors, James Derek Johnston of Hot Springs obtained the drug last February by filing a fake prescription to a pharmacy. Under the terms of his plea agreement, sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence of no more than six months in federal prison.

Between October 2008 and July 2012, prosecutors said Johnston filled more than 150 prescriptions and received about 25,000 hydrocodone pills as a result of his fraud.

And the Class of 2014 may see a reduction in its scholarships funded by the Arkansas Lottery.

The Legislative Lottery Oversight Committee recommended Tuesday that scholarships should be cut to $33-hundred for university students, down from $45-hundred while community college students should see their scholarship awards go down $600 from $22-50 to $16-50.

If next year's General Assembly approves the recommendation, the reduced amounts would be introduced in the 2013-14 school year.

(Source: Arkansas Business)

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