Investors' radar screens have long been clear of the one blip guaranteed to sound the alarm in financial markets: interest rate rises by central banks.
The discount retailer Family Dollar, under pressure from the activist investor Carl C. Icahn to sell itself, said its profit fell by a third as competition intensified and the company cleared inventory ahead of planned store closings.
Reynolds American and Lorillard are in the final stages of agreeing a complex merger that will reshape Big Tobacco by bringing together the two biggest US operators with a combined market capitalisation of $56bn.
World oil demand will climb 1.5 percent to a record 94.1 million barrels a day in 2015, as growth in emerging economies compensates for a contraction in developed nations, the IEA said.
Infosys, India's second-largest software firm, has reported a 21% increase in quarterly profit and maintained its revenue growth forecast.