Vacuum maker adds 500 jobs in Cookeville

The maker of Hoover, Dirt Devil and Oreck vacuum cleaners is expanding its Cookeville, Tennessee plant and adding 500 more jobs over the next five years.

TTI Floor Care North America said it will invest $20 million to increase manufacturing at its facility in Putnam County to add several new production lines, products and shifts at the facility.

"We want to thank the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Putnam County, and the Cookeville community for their tremendous partnership and support," said Jessica Rapp, VP and General Manager, TTI Floor Care North America. "Our commitment and investment in Cookeville demonstrate the high degree of confidence we have in our exceptional employees and partners throughout the state. We are excited about significantly expanding our capabilities and workforce to manufacture world-class products in Cookeville for years to come."

TTI's parent company, Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., is a growing world leader in power tools, accessories, hand tools, outdoor equipment and floor care appliances. The TTI brands also include Milwaukee and Ryobi.

"Now more than ever, we know Tennesseans need access to job opportunities," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in an announcement of the expansion last week. "As we work to restart our economy, major investments like this from TTI Floor Care will help our economic rebound considerably."


Fed says virus makes outlook very "uncertain"

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the outlook for the U.S. economy is "extraordinarily uncertain" and the success of the recovery effort will depend in large part on the country's ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"A full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities," Powell says in testimony he is scheduled to deliver Tuesday in an appearance with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the House Financial Services Committee.

In the testimony released Monday by the Fed, Powell repeats a pledge that the central bank will keep interest rates at the current ultra-low level until it is sure that the economy has weathered the pandemic crisis.


Pending home sales jump 44.3% in May

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rebounded a record 44.3% in May after a record-breaking decline the previous month, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic sidelined both buyers and sellers.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of pending sales rose to 99.6 in May, the highest month-over-month gain in the index since its inception in January 2001. The pending home sales index plunged 21.8% from March to April to a level of 69.

The contract signings — a barometer of finalized purchases over the next two months — have fallen 5.1% over the past year.


New York Times cuts Apple partnership

The New York Times said Monday that it was exiting its partnership with Apple News, as news organizations struggle to compete with large tech companies for readers' attention and dollars.

Starting Monday, Times articles were no longer appearing alongside those from other publications in the curated Apple News feed available on Apple devices.

The Times is one of the first media organizations to pull out of Apple News. The Times, which has made adding new subscribers a key business goal, said Apple had given it little in the way of direct relationships with readers and little control over the business. It said it hoped to instead drive readers directly to its own website and mobile app so that it could "fund quality journalism."

"Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules," said Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer.


Kardashian brand valued at $1 billion

Kim Kardashian West is selling a stake in her beauty brand for $200 million, in a deal that values the TV reality star's three-year-old business at $1 billion.

The buyer is Covergirl owner Coty Inc., which will get a 20% stake in KKW Beauty. Coty seems to be enamored with the Kardashians: Last year, it bought a 51% stake in the makeup line started by Kardashian West's younger sister, Kylie Jenner.

"Kim is a true modern day global icon," said Coty CEO Peter Harf, which is similar to what he said about Jenner in November.

Kardashian West, who stars on the long-running reality TV show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," founded KKW Beauty in 2017 and tapped into her hundreds of millions of social media followers to sell lip gloss, body foundation and perfume.

The 39-year-old will still promote KKW Beauty online and will help create new products.