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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks had surged in the opening minutes of trading as worries of an imminent attack on Syria appeared slimmer after President Obama announced over the weekend that he would seek congressional approval for a strike.

But the stock market gave much of its early gain after the top Republican in Congress, John Boehner, said he would support President Obama's call for the U.S. to take action.

Shares of Microsoft and Verizon slump

Meanwhile, the Dow held back by Microsoft and Verizon, which both slumped after announcing deal news.

Shares of Microsoft falling 4.6 percent to $31.88 after it said it would pay $7.2 billion to acquire Nokia's smartphone business and a portfolio of patents and services.

Microsoft is trying to capture a slice of the lucrative mobile computing market that is currently dominated by Apple and Google, and investors are concerned that Microsoft won't succeed.

Murphy USA ends first trading day up about 1.5%

Looking at Arkansas stocks, it was the first day of trading for Arkansas' newest publicly traded company.

Murphy USA Inc. of El Dorado, a spinoff of Murphy Oil Corp. also of El Dorado, ended its first trading day up about 1.5 percent to $37.51 per share.

That's under the MUSA symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Murphy Oil, under the symbol MUR, ended up 2.8 percent to close at $59.80 per share.

Fed. reserve, state bank board OK Home Bancshares deal

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway and Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro another step closer to closing on that $280 million merger they announced in June.

The bank holding companies said yesterday that the Federal Reserve Board and the Arkansas State Bank Board have both approved the merger.

The companies said their respective shareholders will vote on the deal at separate shareholders meetings on Oct. 23.

The deal is set to create the second-largest bank company headquartered in Arkansas; Arvest of Bentonville will remain the biggest in the state.

Home BancShares CEO Randy Sims says he expects customers from both banks to be able to take advantage of the companies' combined services by early December.

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