Stocks hit the road

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You likely have seen the orange cones on your local highways this summer. In addition to continuing projects, the Obama administration in April 2014 proposed a 4-year plan that would boost highway funding 21 percent by 2018. Road-construction aggravation might be lessened somewhat, though, if the work paves the way to better investment returns.

Levar Haffoney of Fayohne Advisors points to two companies that stand to benefit from expansion of the federal highways budget. Haffoney says Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO; Price: $56.10) is one of the largest U.S. asphalt producers, and Terex (NYSE: TEX; Price: $39.27) makes specialized paving machines.

Even without the highway bill’s approval, analysts at Goldman Sachs recommend cement-maker Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP; Price: $87.70) on expectations of higher cement prices, because cement production nationally is approaching full capacity, and 2015 Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are expected to drive up replacement costs by 20 percent. Goldman Sachs also likes Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM; Price: $123.42), because that company stands to benefit from construction-material prices.