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USA Truck rejects takeover bid

Van Buren-based USA Truck on Thursday rejected a $242 million buyout bid from Phoenix-based Knight Transportation Inc. The company’s board of directors turned down its second unsolicited bid in the last two years, but Knight has vowed to take the issue directly to shareholders.

Business Briefs — Arvest Bank, Simmons First bid for Metropolitan National

In surprise moves, Bentonville-based Arvest Bank and Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. submitted bids to acquire Little Rock-based Metropolitan National Bank, whose parent company, Rogers Bancshares Inc., is embroiled in a bankruptcy proceeding. Arvest's bid was announced in a legal notice in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for an undisclosed figure, while Simmons First disclosed a $16.9 million bid in a SEC filing.

Business Briefs — Arkansas, U.S. unemployment rates intersect at 7.4%

Arkansas' jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percent in July to 7.4 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate fell two-tenths to 7.4 percent. It is the first time that state and national unemployment have intersected since April 2008 when both jobless rates stood at 5.0 percent. Since that month, the U.S. unemployment rate spiked to as high as 10 percent, while the state jobless rate climbed as high as 8.0 percent. During the recovery years since 2008-2009, Arkansas' unemployment rate remained lower than the national rate until now.

Business Briefs — Tyson Foods profits more than triple

Tyson Foods delivered in nearly every quadrant of its business as the meat giant posted quarterly profits of $249 million, more than triple one year ago when profits topped $76 million. Notably, conditions in Tyson's beef segment improved and its chicken and pork business continued to excel. Earnings per share for the quarter ending June 30 rose to 69 cents compared to 22 cents one year ago. Revenues for the Springdale-based protein company cleared $8.73 billion versus $8.26 billion in the previous year's comparable quarter.