Economy & Business

Why it matters: After a record economic expansion, the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession as unemployment soared to staggering heights. The country now faces urgent questions about how much stimulus is needed for reeling consumers and businesses, and what a recovery might look like.

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2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Boeing's germ-zapper could ease COVID-19 travel woes

Boeing's UV wand can disinfect high-touch surfaces. Photo: Boeing

Airlines could soon have another tool to help disinfect their airplanes and protect passengers from the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Air travel remains severely depressed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The industry won't recover until passengers feel confident they won't be infected in flight by fellow travelers.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

What we're driving: The 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 SE

2020 Land Rover Defender. Photo: Nick Dimbleby/Land Rover

My latest ride is the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 SE, an SUV with a tough-looking stance for our times.

The big picture: The original Defender is a cult vehicle for off-road enthusiasts, having been sold in the U.S. for just four years in the mid-1990s. Now it's back, rounding out the Land Rover lineup.

3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus has made airports happier places with less congestion

Passengers relax at California's Long Beach Airport. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

One upside of the global pandemic is that airports are a lot more pleasant these days.

The big picture: A year ago, overcrowding and construction led to delays and confusion for travelers at many major airports.

3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Recurrent aims to help buyers get a better idea of battery life in a used electric vehicle

2011 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Nissan

Recurrent, a new Seattle-based startup, aims to answer the most commonly asked question by people considering a used electric vehicle: "How much battery life is left?"

Why it matters: You can get a decent idea of how long a traditional used car will last by knowing how many miles are on the odometer. But longevity in an electric vehicle is harder to predict and depends on many factors, including how and where the vehicle was driven and the battery's charging history.

SPACs are largely complying with California's board gender rules

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly all SPACs based in California have at least one woman on their boards, complying with a new state law.

Why it matters: Access to opportunities for wealth generation can help close the gender gap.

Uber says full-time drivers handle only a quarter of California rides

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As it fights for an upcoming ballot measure to exempt it from a California law that could force it to classify drivers as employees, Uber argues that not only are "full-time" drivers a small minority of its total drivers, but also that they are responsible for just a quarter of all trips in the state.

Why it matters: If that ballot measure, known as Proposition 22, fails in November, ride-hailing and delivery companies will be forced to reclassify their drivers as employees.

S&P 500 on the brink of a correction

Expand chart
Data: FactSet, Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 hit its highest level ever earlier this month — but as September closes out, the index is teetering on the brink of correction territory.

Where it stands: As of Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 has sunk 9.3% below its record high. Slight gains on Thursday pushed it a bit further away from the 10% decline that would mark a correction — but investors say volatility could be here to stay.

The next cliff for the unemployed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A program supporting Americans who are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, with millions still relying on it as the labor market sputters.

Why it matters: The result could be catastrophic for the economic recovery that Wall Street fears is already fragile.

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. EST: 32,273,576 — Total deaths: 983,751 — Total recoveries: 22,261,136Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m EST: 6,980,104 — Total deaths: 202,827 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  4. Business: The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  5. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky
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