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HCN Stock Watch: Retail stocks amped on the Fed

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Retail stocks posted gains across the board on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve surprised investors by deciding to keep its $85 billion monthly asset purchases. 

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NPD Group reports surge in back to school sales of small appliances

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to a report by The NPD Group, a consumer market research and advisory services firm, small appliances gained ground as students geared up to go back to college.

Lighted mirrors, countertop blenders, sandwich makers, single-serve brewing systems, hair care appliances, toaster ovens and slow cookers all experienced a significant sales bump during the eight weeks ended Aug. 31.

“Back-to-college shopping provides the chance to expose the younger generation to products typically purchased and used by older consumers,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst for NPD. “While the impact of this shopping season is not as strong for the small appliance industry as it is for a category like bedding, it is an opportunity for additional sales and product education."

Mednick added that whether products are purchased by students directly is irrelevant, as the shopping experience typically promotes brand exposure to younger consumers.

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Vulcan Materials finds new site to dig

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vulcan Materials Company, a producer of construction aggregates, asphalt mix, concrete and cement, has commenced mine development at a major new source of reserves in California.

The Azusa Rock Quarry, located east of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley, contains over 100 million tons of quality granite aggregate, enough to help Vulcan supply California infrastructure projects for "decades to come," according to the company.

"This project is consistent with our long-term strategy of securing aggregates reserves in the fastest-growing regions of the United States while also building upon our significant and valuable land holdings in ways that benefit our shareholders, our employees and our valuable host communities," said chairman and CEO Donald M. James. "It is the culmination of years of cooperative work with the City of Azusa, regulatory officials and local stakeholders to ensure that it meets the expectations of the community, state and local government officials, and Vulcan Materials Company. The cities of Azusa and Irwindale will see hillside restoration and the development of a key property at a major intersection serving both cities."

Additionally, the project will generate millions of yards of overburden material that Vulcan will use to complete reclamation of a 90-acre former sand and gravel mine by 2018, as well as other former mining sites.

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