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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Stocks close Thursday with more record highs.

The S&P and the Dow both ending on record highs after comments by Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve Bank official who's been nominated to become chairman of the Fed after Ben Bernanke retires at the end of the year.

Yellen, in comments during confirmation hearings in Congress that began yesterday, said the benefits of the Fed's $85 billion per month bond buying stimulus efforts far outweigh the costs.

Wall Street, of course, loves those low interest rates that the stimulus brings, and sent stocks higher in approval of Yellen's statements.

Dillard's third-quarter earnings released

Earnings from two major Arkansas publicly traded companies have been released.

First, upscale department store chain Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock reporting its 13th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth and higher third-quarter profit.

The company reported net income of $50.9 million, up 5 percent from the same time last year.

Investors were also very happy with those results and other department store chains. Shares of Dillard's closing yesterday near its 52-week high, ending up more than 2 percent to $91.84 per share.

Wal-Mart releases third-quarter earnings

Wal-Mart also reported higher third-quarter results, but overall it was a mixed picture for the world's largest retailer.

Wal-Mart's profit reached $3.7 billion for the quarter, up nearly 3 percent.

But same-store sales in the US fell for the third consecutive time as its low-income shoppers continued to feel squeezed by the economy.

Wal-Mart also took a hit to its international operations, having to close 50 underperforming stores in Brazil and China.

In all, Wal-Mart lowered its earnings expectations for the fourth quarter and its full fiscal year.

Shares of Wal-Mart basically flat yesterday at $79.08 per share.

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