SHARECOMMENTMORE

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- The Dow Jones industrial average closing at a record high Tuesday as investors expect the Federal Reserve to continue its economic stimulus program. The Dow ending Tuesday four points above the all-time high it set on Sept. 18.

This, as investors expect the Fed will decide to keep up its bond-buying program at its policy meeting that began Tuesday. The Fed will announce its decision this afternoon.

Not to be outdone, the S&P also closing at a record high for the seventh time this month. The Nasdaq, closing higher as well, still shy of its record high of 5,048, set in March 2000.

Wal-mart facing criticism about worker pay

Wal-Mart Stores, facing criticism about worker pay, is making a very public showing about how it promotes store employees and gives raises.

The retailer gave promotions to about 25,000 U.S. store employees Tuesday.

Wal-Mart executives got in on the act, presenting on-the-spot surprise promotions at ceremonies throughout the day in more than 15 other markets including Atlanta and Denver.

Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart's US stores division, appeared to hand out promotions himself at a store in Secaucus, N.J.

All of this is to send the message that it offers economic security and opportunity.

The move is an addition to Wal-Mart's September announcement that it would move 35,000 workers from part time to full time by year-end.

Layoffs end at Hewlett-Packard in Conway

The layoffs are over at Hewlett-Packard in Conway.

An HP official tells the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper that employees laid off this month were among the 500 who learned in July that they'd be losing their jobs.

The company says there are no other "planned actions" for HP workers in Conway.

With the layoffs, HP still employs about 800 people at its customer support center in Conway.

Race for 2nd congressional district heats up

The race of Tim Griffin's 2nd District congressional seat heating up as a prominent Arkansas businessman enters the race.

French Hill, a former advisor to George H.W. Bush and now CEO of Delta Trust & Bank, said Tuesday that he'll seek the Republican nomination for the seat after Griffin said earlier this month that he wouldn't seek re-election.

Meanwhile, retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds, who Republican who ran for former U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln's seat in 2010, said he's also seeking the nomination.

Both moves come as another Republican, State Rep. Ann Clemmer, is set to announce her plans to also run for that seat at a news conference today.

So far, former North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays is the only Democrat in the race.

SHARECOMMENTMORE