LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- Better earnings from General Electric and Morgan Stanley helped the stock market inch higher Friday.

For the full week, all three stock indexes ended higher -- their third straight week of gains.

This, as GE led the 30 stocks in the Dow higher after the conglomerate reported stronger quarterly earnings.

Profits increased at all seven of its industrial segments, including oil and gas, energy management, aviation and transportation.

Still, trading was largely quiet last week, as earnings season continues.

And this earnings season is off to a good start so far. Of the 67 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported, 43 have beaten analysts' estimates.

Here in Arkansas, the Legislature poised to return to work on Tuesday after a four-day weekend.

The House and Senate taking Friday and today off -- today, of course, for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Meanwhile, Arkansas Republicans saying they're in no rush to take up any tax cut proposals just yet.

Republicans swept into office last fall won election based on promises to cut taxes in Arkansas.

Still, Republican House and Senate leaders say they want to resolve questions about the state's budget and potential cuts in Medicaid before looking at possible tax cut packages.

One legislative leader -- Sen. Jake Files, a Republican of Fort Smith -- said he wants a tax relief package "substantially larger" than the $35 million legislators cut in a compromise two years ago.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has warned that there's no room in his proposed budget for any other tax relief.

And in Jonesboro, financial difficulties tied to the city's new fairgrounds.

Baker Brothers Asphalt Paving Inc. is one of several contractors who says he's owed thousands of dollars for work done at the fairgrounds, which opened in September.

Baker Brothers filed a complaint last week in Craighead County Circuit Court that says it's owed $304,000 and is taking steps to foreclose on the property if it isn't paid.

The Craighead County Fair Association is on the hook for the payments. Its president, Eddie Burris, told the Jonesboro Sun that cost overruns pushed the project's budget beyond available money.

He said the fair is currently in the process of attempting to resolve the cash flow issues and get everyone paid.

(Source: Arkansas Business)

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