LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks end higher again on Wednesday, even with the release of minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Those meeting minutes offered no surprises to investors, who have been closely watching the Fed for signals that it might back off stimulus efforts. The report showed many Fed members want to see further job gains before cutting back on stimulus.

It also showed some divisions among officials over when the Fed should slow that stimulus.

DC council approves minimum wage bill

Looking to Arkansas companies, there was a setback for Wal-Mart in the nation's capital.

The Washington DC Council issued yesterday approving a bill that would require the retail giant and other big retailers there to pay their employees a, quote, "living wage" of at least $12.50 cents an hour.

Wal-Mart has warned it would scrap plans for three of the six stores it had hoped to build in DC if the bill becomes law.

While some cities have approved across-the-board minimum-wage hikes, the bill would make DC the first to single out big-box retailers. It applies only to retailers with stores of 75,000 square feet or larger and annual corporate revenues of at least $1 billion.

Council members voted 8-5 to approve the measure, setting up a difficult veto decision for Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray.

The council would need nine votes to override a mayoral veto.

Job fair for Hewlett-Packard workers

And here in Arkansas, the Conway Chamber of Commerce says it is planning a job fair for workers affected by layoffs at Hewlett-Packard Co.'s services center.

The job fair is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 19 at the University of Central Arkansas Student Ballroom.

TJ Johnston, executive vice president of the Conway Chamber of Commerce, said 18 companies are registered to attend the event so far.

HP announced Monday that it is laying off 500 people in Conway, about a third of its work force there.

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