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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — A Walmart in Kissimmee, Florida is shown in this Jan. 5, 2017 file photo. - Photo by The Associated Press

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s legal name is now Walmart Inc.

The retailer's new name -- which drops "stores" and the hyphen -- takes effect today, coinciding with the start of the company's new fiscal year. Walmart revealed the change in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in early December, believing the new name better reflects the company's goal of serving its customers in a variety of ways.

The company's legal name when it incorporated in 1969 was Wal-Mart Inc. It became Wal-Mart Stores Inc. the following year as the retailer went public. The name remained unchanged until today.

Analysts said in December that Walmart's name change should have no effect on investors and customers. The company has been using its current "Walmart" logo throughout its operations since 2008. Walmart also said it will continue to trade with the stock ticker WMT on the New York Stock Exchange.

-- Robbie Neiswanger

New Car-Mart lot its 12th in Kentucky

America's Car-Mart has opened a new dealership in Bowling Green, Ky., the company said recently.

The new lot is the third opened by America's Car-Mart in fiscal 2018. It is the company's 12th location in Kentucky.

In November, the Bentonville-based buy-here, pay-here dealer added a new car lot in Centerton. Car-Mart has 142 lots in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

The company also said it would release its third-quarter earnings on Feb. 19 and that it would host a conference call the next day.

In November, Car-Mart reported a profit of $6 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2018 compared with $5 million for the year-ago period. Revenue was $149 million, compared with $150 million a year ago.

-- John Magsam

Arkansas Index falls third day to 421.37

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, lost ground Wednesday for the third-straight day, falling 2.43 to 421.37.

"Equities opened higher but sold off through the day before rallying in the last hour as defensive sectors including real estate and utilities outperformed following a statement by the Federal Reserve that suggested increased inflation expectations," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

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

Business on 02/01/2018

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