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Gene J. Puskar/AP

Consumer confidence hit a 16-year high, the Conference Board announced Tuesday, well above economist's expectations. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones turned positive following the news, after trading slightly down in early trading Tuesday.

Expand chart
Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: 70% U.S. GDP is consumer spending, so survey data showing that consumers feel this good is bullish for the U.S. economy. The release dovetails with recent employment data showing very strong job growth, and these two forces should combine to power the U.S. economy to faster growth in 2017.

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.

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