Photo: Bryan R. Smith / AFP / Getty Images

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading 609 points lower (as of 12:53 p.m.) as investor fears about inflation and higher interest rates continue to hammer the stock market. The big slide continues a string of volatile days for the Dow, which saw its largest daily point drop ever earlier this week.

One possible cause: U.S. Treasury notes neared multi-year highs on Thursday, signaling to some investors that more inflation should be expected down the road, per CNBC.

Go deeper: Learn more about the volatility index VIX — whose rise presaged the market's roller-coaster ride.

Go deeper

Postal slowdown threatens election breakdown

In 24 hours, signs of a pre-election postal slowdown have moved from the shadows to the spotlight, with evidence emerging all over the country that this isn't a just a potential threat, but is happening before our eyes.

Why it matters: If you're the Trump administration, and you're in charge of the federal government, remember that a Pew poll published in April found the Postal Service was viewed favorably by 91% of Americans.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 21,280,608 — Total deaths: 767,422— Total recoveries: 13,290,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,335,398 — Total deaths: 168,903 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic.
  4. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  5. Podcasts: The rise of learning podsSpecial ed under pressure — Not enough laptops — The loss of learning.

USPS pushes election officials to pay more for mail ballots

Protesters gather in Kalorama Park in D.C. today before demonstrating outside the condo of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Photo: Cheriss May/Reuters

The Postal Service has urged state election officials to pay first class for mail ballots, which Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says could nearly triple the cost.

Why it matters: Senate Democrats claim that "it has been the practice of USPS to treat all election mail as First Class mail regardless of the paid class of service."