Crisis Averted: Arkansas Stocks Finish Mixed After Fed Rate Cut

by Gwen Moritz  on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008 3:41 am  

After being off by more than 465 points in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday at 11,971, down only 128 points from Friday's close. 

The 1 percent loss looked like a win after foreign markets took a beating on Monday, when U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The Federal Reserve Bank took dramatic action by lopping 0.75 point off is federal funds rate, now back to its 2005 level of 3.5 percent.

Arkansas' publicly traded stocks fared reasonably well, with 11 either logging slight gains or holding steady. Ten Arkansas companies saw their stocks dip on Tuesday.

The biggest winner among Arkansas stocks was First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, the Harrison thrift, which closed up almost 13 percent at $13.75. That was a change of fortune for First Federal, which is still trading at not much more than half its 52-week high of $25.40.

Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff closed up 7 percent, and Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock closed higher by 0.8 percent. Home BancShares of Conway didn't join in the bank rally; it closed down 0.44 percent at $20.19.

Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock also enjoyed a boost, closing up 8.35 percent at $17.39. Dillard's, which reached $40 a share in May 2007, hadn't closed above $17 since Jan. 2.

Arkansas' biggest losers on Tuesday were America's Car-Mart of Bentonville, down 6.45 percent to $10.30 per share; Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies of Springdale, down 5 percent to 75 cents per share; and Little Rock's beleaguered Acxiom Corp., which sank as low as $8.66 per share before closing at $9.09, a loss of just over 3 percent for the day.



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