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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund led by Jeffrey Smith, has taken a "relatively small" stake in CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: We don't know what Starboard wants from CVS, except that it isn't the status quo. Plus, this comes just weeks after reports that private equity is kicking the tire on CVS rival Walgreens, while Starboard just realized a win yesterday when eBay agreed to sell StubHub to Viagogo for $4 billion.

  • Market reactions: CVS shares rose more than 1.7% on Monday, giving it a market cap of nearly $100 billion.
  • The bottom line: "Starboard is one of the top activist-investment firms and its presence in a stock usually causes a company to sit up and take notice." — Corrie Driebusch, WSJ

Go deeper: Walgreens' outsized role in the opioid epidemic

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.