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News in brief

June 2, 2021 at 2:19 a.m.

Walmart investors

meet online today

Walmart Inc. will hold its annual shareholders business meeting in a live audio webcast starting at 10:30 a.m. today.

As with last year's meeting, today's is being held virtually in light of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Rev. William J. Barber II, a civil-rights leader, will address Walmart's board of directors at the invitation of the worker advocacy group United for Respect. Group leader Cynthia Murray invited Barber to speak after she filed a shareholder resolution calling for the board to create a Pandemic Workforce Advisory Council.

Shareholders can attend the meeting and cast their votes online using instructions provided in the Bentonville-based retailer's annual proxy statement. Shareholders of record as of April 9 are eligible to vote.

The public may also listen to the meeting through a link on the company's corporate website. A transcript of the event will also be available.

The meeting agenda includes voting on the 12 board nominees; a resolution approving Walmart's executive officer compensation; and four shareholder proposals, including Murray's.

-- Serenah McKay

Walmart's Open Call

planned for June 30

Walmart Inc. has invited more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses to pitch their products to the company's merchants at the eighth annual Open Call event, which will be held virtually on June 30.

Walmart said Tuesday that this is the largest group of supplier-hopefuls that has ever been invited to the event. All 50 states will be represented, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Business owners will have 30 minutes to talk one-on-one with a merchant about their product, which must be made, grown or assembled in the U.S. Outcomes of the meetings can include having items placed on shelves in a few local stores; distributed to hundreds of Walmart and Sam's Club stores; or listed on Walmart.com and Walmart Marketplace.

More than 4,300 businesses applied, and the company received more than 12,500 requests for a merchant meeting.

Walmart said in March that it would spend $350 billion over the next 10 years on products made, grown or assembled in the U.S. That is in addition to its 2013 commitment of $250 billion over 20 years.

-- Serenah McKay

State index up 7.75

for 644.26 closing

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 644.26, up 7.75.

"U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as investors continue to weigh upbeat economic reopening prospects versus rising inflation and interest rates," 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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