1) While on the campaign trail, the new President Biden didn’t say much about space technology or projects. The space agency funding makes up just 0.4% of the national budget compared to 4% back in the mid-1960s. The Congress has not provided the funds for a earth to moon vehicle yet, so this raises the question of just how much will the new President support the space program. With Biden’s focus on the planet and global warming, concerns about worlds beyond earth appear to be diminishing. NASA already supports the earth sciences with its satellites and aircraft, and with the massive federal spending this last year, the Congress and maybe the President will seek to reduce spending so NASA may face cuts these next few years.

2) The automaker Dodge is warning that regulations are killing the V8 engine. They say the days of an iron block supercharged 6.2 liter V8 are numbered because of all the compliance costs. The Biden administration is widely expected to announce stricter emissions regulations in the near future. But electrification can help ensure muscle car enthusiasts don’t suddenly loose their passion, that we’ll start seeing battery-powered drive trains with massive horsepower for cars . . . electric muscle cars.

3) It is expected that 10,000 stores will close by the end of 2021 due to COVID-19. Consumers are increasingly favoring the convenience and safety of shopping online during the pandemic. This is a 14% jump in the retail industry closures from last year, when a record number of major vendors closing more than 8,700 stores. Businesses that sell apparel accounted for the most store closures in 2020. More than 3,000 clothing, footwear and accessories stores were shuttered last year, with Ascena Retail Group (brands Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant), closing more than 1,100 of its store locations. However, virtually no category of retail business was spared, with discount home and office retailer Pier 1 Imports filing for bankruptcy and closed all 936 of its stores. As of January 22, nearly 1,700 retailers have already closed. Other retailers are closing with 7-Eleven closing 300 stores, Family Video is closing its remaining 250 locations, ending its 42-year-old run. Ascena Retail Group will also close 195 brick-and-mortar stores in 2021.

4) Stock market closings for – 29 JAN 21:

Dow 29,982.62 down by 620.74
Nasdaq 13,070.70 down by 266.46
S&P 500 3,714.24 down by 73.14

10 Year Yield: up at 1.09%

Oil: down at $52.15

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