General Motors Co. and Aetna Inc. posted earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates today, reducing the ratio of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index profits that beat predictions this reporting season to 76 percent.
Global corporate earnings growth is poised to accelerate this year as higher spending by U.S. consumers and Europe’s gradual rebound from a two-year recession help offset a slower economic expansion in China.
Martin Marietta Materials Inc., the U.S.’s second-largest producer of sand, gravel and crushed rock used in construction, is in advanced talks to acquire building- materials company Texas Industries Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.
Vulcan Materials Co.’s founding family sued the 103-year-old gravel-maker and its top managers, accusing them of “gross mismanagement,” in part for rejecting a $4.7 billion sale to competitor Martin Marietta Materials Inc.
Commodity stocks, lagging behind the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by the most in 15 years, are poised to rally as analysts estimate profits will rise almost twice as fast as the rest of U.S. industry in 2014.
U.S. stocks were little changed, capping the worst week for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since August, with losses in oil producers and phone shares offsetting gains after the House of Representatives passed a budget deal.