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Wal-Mart tops Fortune 500 list, Windstream joins ranks

Wal-Mart has been ranked No. 1 on the 2013 Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue. The Bentonville-based retail giant reclaimed the top spot from ExxonMobil. In fiscal year 2012, Wal-Mart posted revenues of $443.9 billion, a 5.9 percent gain. Also, Little Rock-based Windstream Corp. joined the rankings for the first time at No. 414. Other Arkansas firms on the Fortune 500 list include Tyson Foods (No. 93), Murphy Oil (No. 104), Dillard's (No. 378), and J.B. Hunt (No. 486).

State unemployment steady at 7.2 percent, but labor force shrinks again

Arkansas' jobless rate was 7.2 percent in March, unchanged from February and just slightly below the 7.3 percent in March 2012. March marks 50 consecutive months that Arkansas' jobless rate has been at or above 7 percent. March also continued a trend in which the jobless rate improved but declines in the size of the workforce and number of employed point to ongoing weakness in Arkansas' economy.

Oaklawn, Southland on hot streak

Electronic games of skill (EGS) wagers at Oaklawn and Southland continued their hot streak in March as the two casino-style venues set record highs for the second consecutive month. The latest statistics released by the Arkansas Racing Commission showed Oaklawn topping $100 million in EGS wagers for the first time ever and Southland EGS wagers cleared $200 million for the first time during the month.