ATLANTA (AP) -- Home Depot's fiscal second-quarter net income surged 14 percent thanks to a rebound in its spring selling season.<br />
The nation's largest home improvement retailer also raised its annual profit guidance Tuesday.<br />
Spring is the biggest season for home-improvement retailers, as homeowners and others work on their yards and gardens. While the season started off a bit cold and rainy, weather improved and shoppers headed out to stores to pick up supplies. In particular, purchases over $900 like appliances and water heaters, which account for 20 percent of total U.S. sales, rose 8 percent.<br />
"These results support the view of a continued recovery in the U.S. home-improvement market," Frank Blake, Home Depot's CEO, told investors during its earnings call.<br />
Home Depot also has been helped of late by an improving U.S. housing market. Home prices have started to rise, and there's been steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. While the housing market has recently had a bit of trouble maintaining that momentum, many home owners are spending more to renovate their homes.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
Tropical Storm Erika was losing its punch as it drenched Haiti and the Dominican Republic early Saturday, but it left devastation in its path, killing at least 20 people and leaving another 31 missing on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, authorities said.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — If there was ever a week for the Republican presidential candidates to talk tough on China, this was it: Spurred by the stock market's wild ride, they lashed out at the world's most populous nation.