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Home Improvement Market Sees Surge During Pandemic

Financialnewsmedia.com Market Commentary

PALM BEACH,  Fla., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Analysts expect home improvement spending to reach $439.9 billion in 2020 – In the time of a global pandemic, there is indeed no place like home. As millions of Americans practice social distancing while working and learning remotely, the home has become the focal point of our lives. The desire to make residences safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable has led to a home improvement boom.   Mentioned in today’s commentary includes:  NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW).

The Home Improvement Research Institute predicts Americans will spend $439.9 billion on home improvement products in 2020. The online home remodeling platform Houzz reports that demand for kitchen and bath remodeling was up 40% year over date in June 2020, while home additions increased 52% and fencing projects jumped 166%. Pool and hot tub installations are seeing a wave of strong demand across the country. 

Home renewable energy is also seeing a surge as storage batteries are being installed in more households. According to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, the energy storage industry saw record-breaking deployments during the second quarter of 2020, and rapid expansion is expected to continue. A total of 168 MW and 288 MWh of energy storage was deployed in the quarter, second only to Q4 2019 as the highest on record, according to the joint report by Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.

With Americans nesting like never before, four of the companies active in-home improvement are: NeoVolta (NEOV), Tesla (TSLA), Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW).

NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV) – San Diego based NeoVolta, whose stock is trading around $4 per share, is the only pure-play energy storage company on this list. Recently NeoVolta announced

As White House approves vaccine guidelines, Trump sees conspiracy

It was two weeks ago today when Donald Trump first raised the prospect of rejecting strict FDA guidelines on possible coronavirus vaccines. “That has to be approved by the White House,” the president said. “We may or may not approve it.”

Around the same time, the Republican suggested FDA officials were conspiring against him, “delaying” the vaccine as part of a pre-election “political hit” against him.

It was against this backdrop that the public learned this week that White House officials were, in fact, blocking the tougher federal vaccine guidelines. That is, until yesterday, when the White House relented and released the stricter standards.

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines will need to follow tens of thousands of study participants for at least two months to look for any possible safety issues before the agency would consider authorization…. The FDA will require two months of follow-up for at least half of the study participants after they receive their last doses of vaccine. The vaccine candidates furthest ahead in phase 3 clinical trials, from Moderna and Pfizer, each require two doses, given about one month apart.

This will, among other things, make it impossible for a vaccine to be available before Election Day, which had been a presidential priority.

With this in mind, Trump returned to Twitter last night, writing, “New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job!”

Just so we’re all clear, Trump believes FDA officials are only pretending to care about vaccine safety, and the agency has actually issued strict guidelines as part of a political scheme. The president also apparently believes that his own White House is part of the “hit job,” since it was White

IKEA Sees Strong Demand for Work Desks and Kitchen Gear

IKEA reported a drop in annual sales blaming store closures early in the coronavirus pandemic but said consumers have flocked to its stores since lockdowns lifted to buy desks, chairs and kitchens.

About 75% of the furniture retailer’s stores were closed for between seven to 10 weeks because of coronavirus lockdowns. That resulted in visits to IKEA stores falling nearly 16% for its fiscal year, and lower revenue from its restaurants, which typically make up about 5% of sales.

Overall, Ingka Group—the largest IKEA franchisee and operator—on Tuesday reported sales of €35.2 billion, equivalent to $41.5 billion, for the 12 months to Aug. 31, down from €36.7 billion a year earlier. It didn’t disclose profit figures.

Chief Executive Jesper Brodin said in an interview that consumption trends around the world had been similar through the pandemic. Early on, shoppers bought desks, office chairs and cooking equipment. Interest then moved toward home organization items such as shelving and baskets. Demand for kitchens was also high, with people taking advantage of time at home to install them.

IKEA said online sales make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue. A company’s store in Shanghai in July.



Photo:

alex plavevski/Shutterstock

“Lately, we see a lot of interest in beautification,” said Mr. Brodin. “A lot of people are taking the opportunity to update their homes.”

The comments echo those from rival

Home Depot Inc.,

which in August posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years, saying the home had never been more important to consumers than during the pandemic.

IKEA said online sales grew 60% and now make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue, up from 11% a year ago.

To meet surging online demand, IKEA repurposed its stores to act as fulfillment centers, rolled out click-and-collect at new locations and

Mnuchin Sees One More Chance for Stimulus, as House Readies Vote

(Bloomberg) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he sees “one more serious try” at securing a deal with Congress on another fiscal stimulus package and suggested he’ll offer Democrats a proposal for roughly $1.5 trillion in pandemic relief.

Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC that the administration’s counter-offer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is similar to a plan put forward by a bipartisan group of House members — which included an escalation in spending up to $2 trillion if the coronavirus pandemic persists. That’s still short of a $2.2 trillion relief package that Democrats unveiled Monday and are preparing to bring to a House vote.

Mnuchin said he hopes to have an “understanding” worked out by Thursday.

Pelosi has asked Democrats to deliver a “strong vote” for the party’s latest package, which is smaller than the $3.4 trillion they passed in May but rejected by Republicans. In a letter to colleagues, she described it a “proffer” in talks. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told fellow Democrats Wednesday his intention is to send the bill to the floor Wednesday or Thursday if there is no deal with Mnuchin.

Mnuchin and Pelosi will talk Wednesday afternoon, the Treasury chief said. Renewed optimism on the potential for a compromise saw U.S. stocks open to gains, after futures had earlier tipped another down day.

“Whether we get this fiscal deal done or we don’t, I am confident we will continue to have economic growth and rebound,” Mnuchin said. “I’m confident we can get something done, and if we don’t, we will come back and work on it after the election.”



Nancy Pelosi wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: House Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference


© Bloomberg
House Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

He also underscored that more support for airlines is critical, as carriers face the risk of

Mourinho sees funny side of Dier’s bathroom break as Spurs beat Chelsea [Video]

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SHOT LIST AND SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: POST MATCH NEWS CONFERENCE WITH JOSE MOURINHO AND FRANK LAMPARD AFTER TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR BEAT CHELSEA IN LEAGUE CUP. STILLS OF MATCH

SHOWS:

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 29, 2020) (ACTION IMAGES – ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

1. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF ERIC DIER ON FLOOR

2. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF ERIC DIER TACKLING MASON MOUNT

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 29, 2020) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SAYING:

“With Eric you can imagine what happened for him to leave the pitch. You can imagine what happened. I knew it. I was just pushing him to come back as soon as possible, because no more changes and one player less. It is the consequence of something not human that he did, which is to play two matches completely dehydrated, tired, no energy in the muscles, completely dead. Of course he is not playing Thursday because I would definitely kill him.”

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SAYING:

“The problem is that it was not a pee.”

6. REPORTER SAYING: “It was something else yeah? It was probably even worse then?”

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SAYING

“Yes.”

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 29, 2020) (ACTION IMAGES – ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

8. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF MASON MOUNT MISSING PENALTY

9. STILL PHOTOGRAPH OF MASON MOUNT LOOKING DEJECTED

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 29, 2020) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SAYING

“With Frank the most important thing is my feelings for him. It is more important than any words we exchange. My feelings to him I will always hold him, everything that he gave me, he gave me everything he had as a player and I never forget that