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Consumer confidence down slightly from recent high in March

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Consumer Confidence backed down slightly from its recent peak in March, now standing at 82.3, according to The Conference Board.

“Consumer confidence declined slightly in April, as consumers assessed current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in March,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady. Thus, while sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy, or the labor market, losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months.”

Reflecting this trend is the Present Situation Index, which is down to 78.3 from 82.5. Fewer people claimed business conditions were "good," and more said they were "bad." In terms of jobs availability, those saying jobs were "plentiful" edged down to 12.9% from 13.8%, and those saying they were "hard to get" increased to 32.5% from 31.4%.

Meanwhile, the Expectations Index largely flatlined, up slightly to 84.9 compared to 84.8 in March. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months remained at their previous level of 17.4%, though 0.2% more people anticipated conditions to worsen. More people — 0.9% — are expecting more jobs in the months ahead, however, though 0.4% more people expect fewer jobs. The biggest increase was seen in those expecting a boost in income — 17.1%, compared to 15.3% last month. However, those expecting a drop in their incomes also increased by 1.4%.

March’s score of 83.9 was the highest level the index has seen since January 2008.

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HCN Stock Watch: SHLD up 4.04%

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The tide was turning favorably at Monday’s close, with Sears Holdings (SHLD) leading the pack at a gain of 4.04%.

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In Vegas: Get Your Hammer On

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 2014 Golden Hammer Awards will strike for the 30th time May 6, when industry leaders gather poolside at the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

Sponsored by The Vendor Center and Midwest Fasteners, and presented in partnership with the National Hardware Show, the Golden Hammer event honors the best of the best in home improvement.

For the first time, the Golden Hammers will serve as the open-to-all welcome reception for the entire National Hardware Show.

The agenda is chock full of networking, and also includes the induction of Orgill CEO Ron Beal into the Home Channel Hall of Fame; the Retailer of the Year presentation to Sulphur, La.-based Stine Home & Yard; and the annual Tools of the Trade Award presentation to Hipp Modern Builders Supply of Mountain View, Ark.

Gates open at 4:30, and there’s no charge.

The Golden Hammer has evolved since its founding in 1985. That’s the year that St. Paul, Minn.-based Knox Lumber won the first “Golden Hammer Trophy” for “most outstanding commercial.” (It included the tagline: “All the right stuff at the right prices.”)

In 2004, charter members of the Home Channel Hall of Fame were inducted: Joe Orgill, Joe Hardy, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus.

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