LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Unimpressive earnings keeping investors feeling wary last week and the news about the U.S. economy left them uninspired. All three major indexes ended lower amid light trading and with little economic news.

Looking ahead: Reports and earnings

This week promises to be a bit more interesting. On Tuesday, we'll get the latest on retail sales in the country. And on Thursday, the biggest retailer of all Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville will report quarterly earnings. Investors will be looking for signs that sales remain strong at home and internationally.

Gov. Beebe in Arkadelphia for jobs announcement

Gov. Mike Beebe set to be Arkadelphia for a jobs announcement at 1:30 p.m. today. The governor's office didn't say what the specific announcement will be but Arkansas Business has learned some early details.

Sources tell us the announcement is about a California company that's purchased the former Petit Jean Poultry plant in the Clark County Commerce Park.

The company will employ 200 people and process chickens there for a specialized Asian chicken product.

The company is aiming for operations to begin by late December -- in the interim, it will be hiring workers and assembling and installing necessary equipment.

Petit Jean Poultry closed that Arkadelphia plant in April 2011 after Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale failed to renew its contract with the company.

At the time, the plant employed about 385 people and had an annual payroll of about $3.5 million.

Forbes magazine ranks 2 Ark. regions on new list

Forbes Magazine last week ranked two Arkansas regions on its list of "Best Places for Business and Careers."

The list ranked 200 metropolitan areas. Northwest Arkansas ranked No. 28 and central Arkansas ranked No. 32.

Forbes noting northwest Arkansas has the home to 30 companies with annual revenue exceeding $100 million, with major names like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Tyson Foods.

Central Arkansas recognized for a diverse economy and being home to companies like Stephens Inc., Windstream Corp., and nonprofit entities like the Clinton Presidential Center, Winrock International and Heifer International.

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