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Alex Brandon / AP

Janet Yellen begins today the first of two days of testimony before the new Congress, where she will likely be asked to defend the Fed's interest rate policy and the central bank's record on banking regulation. She'll be coy concerning the next rate hike, but offer a full-throated defense of Dodd-Frank. Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Economics also predicts Yellen will "gently suggest" that fiscal stimulus is not needed, an argument sure to warm the hearts of budget hawks.

Wilbur Ross doesn't divest: The billionaire, incoming Commerce Secretary has declined to divest himself of interest in 11 different companies, though he is selling his ownership in 80 more, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ownership stakes he is retaining however, have already prompted conflict-of-interest accusations. For instance, Ross will retain ownership of shipping concerns, even though the Commerce Secretary has broad powers over issues like international trade, which greatly affect industry profits.

S&P 500 cracks $20 trillion: The overall value of the S&P 500 grew to more than $20 trillion for the first time ever Monday — driven by a combination monetary stimulus, a stable recovery, optimism about the American economy, and solid corporate profits. Investors, however, should use the occasion to question whether the market has gotten ahead of itself, given the many risks—like the threat of trade wars—loom over the global economy.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.