LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- A big leap in home prices spurs the stock market to make a leap of its own.

A new report from CoreLogic, a provider of real estate data, showed December home prices in the U.S. rising on its fastest pace in six years. That month saw a lift of 8.3 percent.

Tyson Foods getting an upgrade in its credit ratings as it pays off its debt.

Fitch Ratings gives the Springdale poultry producer a step up from "Stable" to "Positive".

Tyson getting its high marks because of its "low financial leverage, improved operating efficiency, prudent risk management, significant scale, and good diversification."

Shares of Tyson were up 23 cents to $23.06. Its stock has gone up 50 percent over the past six months.

A short supply of guns kept background checks on firearms down ten percent in January from December. Retailers and sellers of firearms say that supply is so low from a surge in purchases in December, they don't have guns to sell to customers who would usually have the background checks.

The upswing in gun sales coming after the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Even with the drop in sales last month, it was still ahead in numbers over any other month in the past year except for December.

Two independent audits will look at the University of Arkansas' advancement division -- on track to overspend its budget by more than $4 million.

University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart said Tuesday that he's asked auditors for the Arkansas General Assembly and the UA System office to review advancement's overspending, which Arkansas Business first reported in December.

UA Spokesman John Diamond said the scope of the audit is up to the auditors.

The university has not released the results of its own internal audit, saying the audit is part of personnel records. But Gearhart said those documents will be available for review by the independent auditors.

As Arkansas Business first reported, officials discovered a shortfall in June. UA Advancement overspent by $3.1 million in 2011-12 and is on track for a deficit of more than $4 million in 2012-13.

(Source: Arkansas Business)

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