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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Wall Street ends the week with a bang. The S&P closing above 1,500 for the first time in more than five years Friday after a wave of good earnings reports.

That widely watched index -- one of the broadest measures of the American stock market -- had not closed above 15-hundred since December 2007, the start of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.

The news came on top of hopeful signs that the economy is slowly recovering. Housing is on the rebound. Companies are hiring again -- though slowly -- and their earnings are at record levels.

In all, Friday marked the eighth straight daily gain for stocks. That's the longest winning streak since November 2004.

There will much to watch on Wall Street this, including the latest earnings reports from more Arkansas public companies -- including Murphy Oil of El Dorado and Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock on Wednesday, and Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale on Friday.

Well, that land that was once intended for a Bass Pro Shops and other developments in North Little Rock has sold.

The First Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ at 1401 Calvary Road in North Little Rock now owns about 90 acres that sits across Interstate 40.

The church picked the property in four transactions together worth more than $1 million.

First Pentecostal intends to develop a school campus with a supporting sports complex on the property, which is at the southwest corner of North Hills Boulevard and I-40.

This land assembled by the church was once envisioned for The Shoppes at North Hills, a proposed 866,000-square-foot, $130 million retail center that was to have been anchored by a Bass Pro Shops.

But the project, advocated by Belz-Burrow Development Group of Jonesboro and Hocker & Associates Inc. of Owensboro, Ky., became mired in years of litigation-fueled controversy -- some of it having to do with environmental concerns about using property that's also a wetland.

Ultimately, of course, Bass Pro Shops did announce plans for central Arkansas -- but instead will locate in southwest Little Rock in Otter Creek -- part of the Gateway Town Center project now under development.

(Source: Arkansas Business)

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