Markets are open after the long Easter weekend and we get ready for a busy week of earnings.
Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Huggies, Kleenex and other consumer products saw sales decline 1% overall but grow 12% overseas in Q1. Profits were up almost 4%. The company paid a combined $750 million in dividends and stock buy backs during the first quarter. (Market Wire)
Toy maker Hasbro returned to profitability in Q1 making $32.1 million after losing $6.7 million last year. Sales for girl’s toys, like My Little Pony, were up 21% while those for boys, like Nerf products, were up 4%. Hasbro beat their competition, Mattel that posted a loss for the quarter last week. (Associated Press)
Payrolls climbed in 34 states in March showing the job market is improving. The rough winter weather in the north has helped the tourism industry in the south as more people are trying to beat the snow and enjoy a little sunshine. (Bloomberg)
US manufacturing output rose by 0.7% for a second month in March. Mining and utilities were leaders in the gains. US factory capacity utilization stands at 79.2%, the highest since June 2008 and shows companies maybe approaching an end to their ability to get production gains without investing money in more plants and equipment. (Reuters)