LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks on Thursday getting some extra fuel after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will keep supporting the economy.

The Dow and the S&P are surging past all-time highs. Stocks that benefit the most from a continuation of low interest rates, such as homebuilders, saw some of the biggest gains.

Bernanke made the comments in a speech late Wednesday after U.S. markets had closed, saying the economy still needs "a highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future."

He said the U.S. economy needs help because unemployment is high.

Restructuring in U of A advancement division

Here in Arkansas, a host of structural changes, including two retirements and several promotions, at the University of Arkansas Division of University Advancement.

Vice Chancellor Chris Wyrick, who leads the UA fund-raising arm, announced those changes yesterday. This comes just five months after Wyrick took over the division.

Its previous leader, Brad Choate, was dismissed from the job after an internal audit revealed the division had overspent by more than $3 million in 2012.

The changes include putting the office of university development under new leadership. Mark Power is taking over that role after the retirement of Bruce Pontious.

Sam Walls retires from Arkansas capital corp. Group

And speaking of retirements, Sam Walls announcing his yesterday, stepping down as CEO of Arkansas Capital Corp. Group of Little Rock after 24 years.

Under Walls, the organization grew from one that managed a small portfolio of business loans to a group that has brokered more than $1.4 billion in loans to Arkansas businesses.

Walls also developed the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup collegiate business plan competition.

Little Rock metro sets export record in 2012

And finally, the Little Rock metro produced a record number of exports in 2012, that's according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration.

Merchandise exports from the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metro reached a record $2.4 billion, that's up 171 percent, or $1.5 billion, from 2011 to 2012.

The top export categories from the central Arkansas metro included transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, machinery and primary metal manufactures.

The top trading partners came from the Middle East region and the European Union.

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