At least one big retailer is enjoying a rise in sales and a surge in profit. Home Depot is reporting a strong second quarter as earnings jumped nearly 18 percent over last year. Sales rose 9 percent as the biggest US home improvement company continues to benefit from the comeback of the housing market. The report comes after disappointing earnings from Wal-Mart and several other big retailers. Home Depot raised its full-year profit and sales expectations.
Best Buy’s quarterly profit rose from $12 million a year ago to $266 million in its latest report. The consumer electronics store chain’s shares rose 12 percent. The profits surge came despite a slight drop in sales. Best Buy has been facing fierce competition from Wal-Mart and Amazon.
Boozier brews with more buzz are the latest attempt by the beer industry to reverse falling sales. AdAge reports MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev have both turned to new more expensive higher-alcohol brands to recapture market share. Many younger consumers are now drinking less beer and more spirits. The latest entry is Miller Fortune, said to be launched next year with 6.9 percent alcohol. This follows recent launches of Bud Light Premium and Budweiser Black Crown premium beers. The marketing moves may provoke criticism from health advocates.
JP Morgan Chase is facing a mountain of litigation and growing questions from regulators across several fronts. America’s biggest bank is the subject of a Justice Department investigation into whether it manipulated energy markets. The Wall Street Journal says the government inquiry is still in its early stages. Last month JP Morgan agreed to pay $410 million to settle allegations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it manipulated markets in California and the Midwest. Federal authorities have also opened an investigation into whether the bank hired the children of top Chinese officials to help it win business in China.
Big banks need to do a better job of determining how much capital they need to cushion against a future crisis, the Federal Reserve says. The recommendation comes as the fifth anniversary of the near financial meltdown approaches. The Fed says a study shows that banks have made progress in preparing for stresses like those brought by the 2008 financial crisis. But banks must go further by accounting for specific risks that relate to their business activities. The Fed has been conducting annual stress tests on the biggest banks since 2009.
President Obama is calling on regulators to act faster and finish writing rules to regulate Wall Street. Three years after the Dodd-Frank reforms were passed many of the regulations have yet to be put in place. The president met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the heads of seven other agencies.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesabc