Hershey to launch first new candy brand in 30 years
NEW YORK Chew on this. The Hershey Co. is launching a new candy brand, its first new brand in 30 years, a soft caramel creme line called Lancaster. And for the first time it is taking a double barreled approach, debuting the candy in the U.S. and China at once. The move comes as China increasingly becomes a focus for U.S.-based consumer goods companies that are seeking to offset slower growth in developed markets like North America. Hershey, which makes candy such as Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Hershey’s Kisses, said its most recent quarter that new products in both the U.S. and overseas helped its net income rise 18 percent. The Lancaster name stems from founder Milton Hershey’s first candy company, The Lancaster Caramel Co. founded in 1886. Caramel is also a fast-growing category globally. The candy will hit store shelves in January 2014 and come in two sizes for about $4 and $2.50. In China, it has already launched in three cities, with wider distribution set for 2014.
Dow soars on possibility of end to budget standoff
NEW YORK You can almost hear Wall Street exhaling. The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 300 points Thursday after Republican leaders and President Barack Obama finally seemed willing to end a 10-day budget standoff that has threatened to leave the U.S. unable to pay its bills. The news drove the Dow to its biggest point rise this year and ended a three-week funk in stocks. It also injected some calm into the frazzled market for short-term government debt. Republican leaders said Thursday they would vote to extend the government’s borrowing authority for six weeks. A spokesman for Obama said the president would “likely” sign a bill to increase the nation’s ability to borrow money so it can continue paying its bills. The Dow jumped 323.09 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 15,126.07, its high for the day. The final surge came even as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats would not negotiate with Republicans as long as the government remains partly shut. Reid’s comments were reported about 15 minutes before the market closed at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 36.16 points, or 2.2 percent, to 1,692.56 and the Nasdaq composite rose 82.97 points, or 2.3 percent, to 3,760.75.
Retailers report modest sales gains for September
NEW YORK Several retailers reported modest sales gains for September as shoppers who were worried about a partial government shutdown and the overall economy pulled back their spending from the prior month. The results increase concerns about how shoppers will spend for the crucial holiday season, the largest shopping selling period for retailers. Revenue at stores opened at least a year – a measure of a retailer’s health – rose 2.7 percent in September, according to a preliminary tally of 9 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase posted in August.
The Associated Press contributed.