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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The S&P closed at a record high on Thursday beating the mark it set in October 2007, a year before the peak of the financial crisis.

The S&P gained 0.4 percent, beating its previous record by four points. The index is still shy of its all-time trading high of 1,576.

Large business supports subsidized health insurance

Here in Arkansas, the state's largest business lobbying organization voicing its support for a proposal to provide subsidized health insurance to thousands of low-income residents.

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, which represents about 1,300 businesses in Arkansas, said it was backing the so-called private option proposal.

Under the private option, people making up to 138 percent of the poverty line, about $15,415 per year, would receive private insurance purchased using federal Medicaid dollars. The insurance would be purchased through an exchange created under the federal health care law.

Republicans had generally opposed a Medicaid expansion. But many GOP lawmakers have backed the private insurance idea as a better approach.

First Federal Bancshares of Ark. votes for new CEO

Also yesterday, there's a new public company CEO in Arkansas.

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Inc. of Harrison said its board voted to make its president and COO Christopher Wewers CEO of company and its bank, First Federal Bank, effective June 30.

Wewers will succeed W. Dabbs Cavin, who has been the company's and bank's CEO since Bear State Financial Holdings' $46 million recapitalization of the bank in May 2011.

Beginning July 1, Cavin will be executive vice chairman of the company and bank boards.

Apple co-founder to speak at Univ. of Arkansas

And finally, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is scheduled to speak April 7 at Barnhill Arena on the University of Arkansas campus.

Wozniak, who developed the first Apple computer and is listed as a co-founder of the company with Steve Jobs, is part of the UA's distinguished lecture series.

Admission is free, but seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also scheduled to speak as part of the lecture series is Grammy award winning singer/songwriter John Legend.

Legend will speak at the arena on April 29.

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