News in brief

Posted: April 20, 2017 at 2:12 a.m.
Updated: April 20, 2017 at 2:12 a.m.

Vacancy rates rise for 2 NW counties

The vacancy rate for apartment and duplexes in Benton and Washington counties experienced a slight uptick for the second half of 2016, according to the Skyline Report released Wednesday.

Multifamily vacancy rates moved from 3 percent for the last six months of 2015 to 3.2 percent for the second half of last year, mostly because of more "by the bed" rentals that entered the market in the Fayetteville area in the fall. Multifamily vacancy rates in Fayetteville went from 3.6 percent in the second half of 2015 to 4.7 percent in the second half of last year, according to the report.

The average lease rate was up at $627.04 for the last six months of 2016, an increase of $25.62 from $601.42 from the last half of 2015. The median size of leased multifamily space increased to 816 square feet during the second half of 2016, compared with 808 square feet for the first part of the year.

The Skyline Report, sponsored by Fayetteville-based Arvest Bank, is compiled by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

-- John Magsam

Wal-Mart aims to cut gigaton of emissions

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unveiled a new sustainability platform in hopes of eliminating a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The initiative, called Project Gigaton, was announced Wednesday during the company's annual Sustainability Milestone Summit in Bentonville.

About 200 suppliers attended the event and were invited by Wal-Mart to participate.

To help suppliers, Wal-Mart collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund to create an emissions-reduction toolkit that highlights the business case for participating in the initiative.

Wal-Mart said removing a gigaton of emissions would be equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off U.S. roads and highways for a year.

-- Robbie Neiswanger

Murphy USA falls 8% as index loses 2.84

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, fell 2.84 to 338.43 Wednesday.

"Energy stocks led equities lower Wednesday following an increase in U.S. gasoline inventories reported by the Department of Energy," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

Murphy USA shares fell 8.1 percent.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 04/20/2017