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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The Dow is logging a tiny gain to mark eight straight days on the rise, that streak long enough to match its longest series of gains since February 2011.

The Dow wavered between small gains and losses for most of the day.

Stocks have surged this year as investors became encouraged by a recovery in the housing market and a pickup in hiring. Strong corporate earnings and continuing economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve are also supporting demand for stocks.

So far in 2013, the Dow has gained 10 percent. Last week, it surpassed its previous all-time high of 14-thousand-164.

Next step coming for Big River Steel plant

Here in Arkansas, legislators readying for the next step toward voting on that $125 million incentive package for the Big River Steel plant in Osceola.

By Monday, lawmakers had filed at least 10 bills dealing with state incentives for the $1.1 billion project. Most of the bills were shell bills, empty documents designed to be amended later.

Monday was the final day legislators could submit bills for the current legislative session.

Meanwhile, legislators could soon get the results of two independent studies vetting the Big River Steel project.

The Legislature hired two consulting firms -- Regional Economic Models Inc. and IHS Global Insight Inc. -- to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the project and determine if it's indeed a good investment for Arkansas dollars.

The results of both studies were due yesterday. Those studies cost a combined $77,750.

Housing market continues recovery in NW Arkansas

And finally, economic experts in northwest Arkansas seeing a continued recovery in the housing market there.

According to the Skyline Report -- released by Arvest Bank and the UA's Walton College of Business -- residential building permits issued for the final six months of 2012 represented a 53 percent increase from that same period in 2011.

One analyst said northwest Arkansas could soon be a sellers market for residential real estate.

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