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News in brief

June 15, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

Walton family sells

$1.8 billion in stock

The Walton family sold 12.9 million shares of Walmart Inc. stock worth a total of $1.8 billion over the past couple of weeks, government filings show.

Statements by Walmart founder Sam Walton's surviving children -- Rob Walton, Jim Walton and Alice Walton -- filed June 8 and Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the stock was sold in multiple trades for about $141 per share.

The Walton Family Holdings Trust, which held the shares, sells a portion periodically to offset any increases in the family's ownership in Walmart and to fund charitable contributions. The trust owns about 340 million shares, according to the SEC filings.

The family owns roughly half of the company's outstanding shares through the trust and Walton Enterprises LLC, the family's investment arm that owns 1 billion shares.

Collectively worth $235.5 billion, according to Forbes' Real-Time Billionaires list, the seven Walton heirs comprise the world's richest family. Besides Sam Walton's children, the family includes the widow and son of the late John Walton and the two daughters of Sam Walton's brother, Bud Walton.

-- Serenah McKay

Port activity down in

first 5 months of '21

Barge activity at the Port of Little Rock fell 13% through the five months of 2021 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the latest data from the Arkansas River port.

Through May 31, the port worked 168 barges and handled 249,000 tons in commodities, which included aluminum, fertilizer, rock and sand, and steel coils.

The totals represented a 12.5% and 14.4% drop, respectively, in barges worked and cargo handled from the first five months of 2020 when the port worked 192 barges and handled 291,000 tons of cargo.

May totals also were off. Last month the port worked 36 barges and handled 53,000 tons of cargo. In May 2020, the port worked 38 barges and handled 57,000 tons of cargo.

Cargo tonnage carried on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, of which the Little Rock port is a part, rose 1% -- to 4,304,280 tons -- through the first five months of 2021 compared with the same period last year, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the system.

-- Noel Oman

Arkansas Index sees

drop of 8.59 points

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 628.49, down 8.59.

"The Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record high on Monday as investors rotated a bit back into growth-oriented stocks ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting this week," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

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

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