LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Stocks ended lower again on Thursday, but the finish wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Stocks spend much of the day in much lower territory before recovering on a pair of upbeat economic reports.

Sales of new homes rose in April

First, the Commerce Department said sales of new homes rose in April -- nearly matching the fastest pace in five years. Those new-home sales are up 2.3 percent in April from March.

Applications for Unemployment Benefits fell 23,000

And the Labor Department said the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a level consistent with solid job growth.

Mike Duke among top 50 highest-paid CEO's

Here in Arkansas, Mike Duke, the CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, is among the 50 top-paid chief executives in the country according to a study by The Associated Press.

Duke ranking No. 26 on the list of the top 50 with $20.7 million in total compensation. He's the only Arkansas CEO to make the list.

In April, Arkansas Business reported that Duke's compensation package had increased 14 percent from the previous year.

The package included a base salary that rose from $1.2 million to $1.3 million in fiscal 2013.

Many Arkansas college students to see hike in tuition

And finally, tuition increases coming to two of Arkansas biggest universities. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Arkansas State University at Jonesboro's boards of trustees both met yesterday and both voted to increase tuition at those campuses by more than 3 percent.

For UA at Fayetteville, the increase is 3.5 percent, which the board said amounts to about $246 per student.

At ASU in Jonesboro, the increase is 3.3 percent, which works out to about $165 per student.

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