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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Strong earnings from big U.S. companies pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to a rare triple-digit gain Friday, but the S&P 500 index still posted its first weekly loss of the year.

Hewlett-Packardsees big gains

Among stocks, shares of Hewlett-Packard had the biggest gain in the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

The company, which has an operation in Conway, posted fiscal first-quarter earnings late Thursday that beat all forecasts, a relief after months of bad news for the computer maker. HP rose $2.10, or 12 percent, to $19.20.

Ark. legislators seek more info on Big River Steel

Here in Arkansas, the clock is running as legislators seek more information about that $1.1 billion steel plant proposed for Osceola.

As of today, the House and the Senate have 18 working days to look into whether the project would be right for the state to $125 million to help finance the project.

House Speaker Davy Carter of Cabot said the House and Senate expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a consultant who will analyze Big River Steel's financial and business plans.

The mill promises to employ 2,000 people during construction and more than 500 when the plant is operating.

After the consultant provides the report, a bill will have to be filed but can start in either chamber and will likely be routed through the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committees.

John L. Smith withdraws bankruptcy paperwork request

And former Razorbacks football coach John L. Smith has decided to withdraw a request that would have allowed his or his former business partners' attorneys to decide which documents tied to his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case would be marked confidential.

Smith filed the request in December and Arkansas Business has learned that a two-day deposition involving Smith was one thing that he wanted to keep out of the public's eye.

Smith's bankruptcy is tied to real estate investments he had in Kentucky.

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