LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The Dow holds about the historic 15,000 mark again. With no major economic reports out on Wednesday, investors focused instead on continued corporate earnings reports.

In all, two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average at 3.5 billion shares.

MISO plans operations center, up to 50 Jobs

Here in Arkansas, a power utility is planning a new operations center for Little Rock that will employ 35 to 50 people.

The Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator announced Wednesday that the center will serve as a hub for its new southern region.

The group -- which announced its plans alongside Gov. Beebe at the Capitol -- said the average salary of workers there would be about $85,000.

The group hasn't chosen a site for the project yet. It plans to spend up to $8 million on the facility.

Midcontinent is also getting various state incentives, including those based on payroll for four years and sale tax refunds.

Windstream CEO assures shareholders of $1 dividend

Also yesterday, Windstream Corp. of Little Rock holding its annual shareholders' meeting at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock.

CEO Jeff Gardner repeatedly assuring shareholders there that the company is committed to continuing its attractive $1 per share annual dividend.

The dividend -- which represents an annual yield of about 12 percent at Windstream's current stock price of around $8.50 -- has prompted some analysts to question whether it is sustainable.

Wal-Mart, American Express "Bluebird" Card

And finally, Bloomberg is reporting this week that bankers have asked the Federal Reserve to increase its oversight of the financial services offered by the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville.

Wal-Mart -- which has long been interested in expanding its financial offerings into bank-like services -- has recently partnered with American Express to offer a prepaid card called Bluebird.

Wal-Mart bills the Bluebird service as an alternative to checking and debit accounts, and includes services like bill pay, direct deposit and ATMs.

According to Federal Reserve meeting minutes from December obtained by Bloomberg, the banks believe Wal-Mart has found a back door into the industry that has little to no Fed oversight.

The banks urged regulators to consider limiting payment- related services to "regulated banking institutions," or at least step up its study of the business.

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