The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, is having a dramatic effect on shares of Taser International Inc. (TASR). The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, best known for its electroshock “stun” guns, has seen its share price jump 19 percent in the past five trading days. Investors are betting that allegations of heavy-handed police tactics, including the shooting of an unarmed teenager, will lead to a big increase in sales of Taser’s “body cameras” that can be worn by officers while on patrol.
The latest sign of U.S. economic revival comes in the second-quarter earnings report by America’s biggest home improvement chain. Profits at Home Depot jumped 14 percent thanks to a rebound in its spring selling season. Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year jumped 6.4 percent and the retailer raised its full-year profit estimate. Spring is the biggest season for home-improvement retailers, as homeowners and others work on their yards and gardens. While the season started off cold and stormy, weather improved and shoppers headed out to stores to pick up supplies. The report from Home Depot beat Wall Street forecasts. The company’s share price is up more than 3 percent this morning.
U.S. and international stock markets continue to rise. Analysts say improved home builder sentiment and renewed efforts to broker a cease-fire in Ukraine are among the reasons. The high-technology dominated Nasdaq index is at its highest level in 14 years.
Orange juice sales continue to drop as consumers turn to other drinks for refreshment. “U.S. orange-juice sales fell to the lowest level on record,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Sports and energy-drink sales have surged. Consumers purchased 9.2 percent less orange juice in the four weeks ending Aug. 2, compared with a similar period a year ago, according to Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus.
The California utility Pacific Gas and Electric has pleaded not guilty to charges in a new indictment. The firm is accused of lying to federal investigators looking into a fatal pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay-area neighborhood. The blast in 2010 killed eight people. The company says an obstruction of justice charge was the result of a paperwork error that was quickly corrected.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow