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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Investors asses Coca-Cola's post-pandemic reopening play

"The pandemic and its restrictions have hurt Coke, which gets about half of its sales from restaurants, cafeterias, stadiums, and other places and events outside the home," per Barron's.

Yes, but: Coca-Cola is promising a "reopening" plan: "Coke benefits from rising living standards in the developing world. And ... the company generates about 75% of its profits outside the U.S."

Biden is highest-spending political candidate on TV ads

Joe Biden. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

After spending an additional $45.2 million on political ads this week, former Vice President Joe Biden has become the highest-spending political candidate on TV ads ever, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

By the numbers: In total, the Biden campaign has spent $582.7 million on TV ads between 2019 and 2020, officially surpassing Michael Bloomberg's record spend of roughly $582 million. Biden's spend includes his primary and general election advertising.

22 hours ago - Podcasts

The 2020 campaign money story

President Trump’s campaign says it just had best-ever fundraising day, securing $26 million in the hours around last night’s debate. This just adds to what was already a record-shattering election season, in terms of money raised and money spent.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the 2020 fundraising story, including what happens to a candidate's unspent money, with election law expert Ciara Torres-Spelliscy.

Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: Polestar 2 electric vehicle

Polestar 2 electric vehicle. Photo: Polestar

This week's car is from an electric vehicle brand you might not be familiar with: Polestar.

The big picture: Originally a Swedish racing brand, Polestar was acquired in 2015 by Volvo Cars, which put the Polestar label on its high-performance models —similar to Mercedes’ AMG hot rod label.

Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Misperceptions may be holding consumers back from buying electric vehicles

Photo by picture alliance via Getty

Analysts and investors are getting ever more bullish on electric vehicles, but with little regard, it seems, for consumer attitudes.

Why it matters: Tightening regulations around the world could indeed shove the vehicle market toward electrics more quickly than expected. But if consumers are reluctant to buy, automakers will have to slash prices and absorb the losses, erasing investors' rosy hopes.

Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Driverless car companies are getting back on track after a COVID-19 standstill

Ford's fourth-generation AV. Photo: Ford

Two weeks after Waymo opened up its driverless taxi service to the public in Phoenix, other autonomous vehicle developers are reporting progress, too.

Why it matters: The pandemic temporarily suspended on-road testing at many AV companies, but the past week shows they've been hard at work.

Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

We're all guinea pigs for Tesla's latest self-driving tech

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is beta-testing its latest self-driving technology with a small group of early adopters, a move that alarms experts and makes every road user — including other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists — unwitting subjects in its ongoing safety experiment.

Why it matters: Tesla hailed the limited rollout of its "full self-driving" beta software as a key milestone, but the warnings on the car's touchscreen underscore the risk in using its own customers — rather than trained safety drivers — to validate the technology.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

BC Partners to split up PetSmart and Chewy

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

BC Partners plans to disentangle pet supplies retailer PetSmart from online rival Chewy, via a recapitalization plan.

Why it matters: This reflects PetSmart's improved performance, driven largely by increased pet adoptions during the pandemic. It's also a tacit admission by BC Partners that its original investment thesis was flawed.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

GM says preorders for its electric Hummer filled up in 10 minutes

Photo: GM

Reservations for the first edition of GM's new electric Hummer revealed Tuesday night filled up in 10 minutes, according to spokesperson Mikhael Farah.

Driving the news: The page where you can plunk down $100 to reserve the $112,595 first edition, which arrives in late 2021, offers a waitlist. You can still reserve the less souped-up and less pricey versions going into production in 2022–2024.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Recent arrests suggest massive fraud in California's unemployment system

A person waits outside a closed office of California's Employment Development Department. Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Fraud in California's Employment Development Department (EDD) was so rampant and seemingly easy to exploit that one Los Angeles rapper was arrested recently after making a song and video about doing it.

What's happening: In a historic example of snitching on oneself in an effort to clout chase, rapper Fontrell Antonio Baines, aka Nuke Bizzle, describes how easy it is to get "rich off of EDD" in a music video posted to YouTube titled "EDD."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Turkish lira's crash shows the value of central bank confidence

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The value of the Turkish lira against the dollar fell more than 2% immediately following the central bank's decision not to adjust its benchmark one-week repo rate, sending the currency plummeting to its lowest level on record.

Why it matters: Turkey is becoming a cautionary tale of what can happen when a central bank loses its independence and credibility and is effectively controlled by the president.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Investors around the world prefer Biden

Reproduced from UBS Investor Sentiment Q3 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors around the world prefer Joe Biden by a small margin in the 2020 election, according to a new survey from UBS of nearly 3,000 investment professionals in 14 different global markets.

Of note: 72% of investors surveyed said they plan to adjust their portfolios ahead of the election.

Child care crisis is denting the labor market

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

New data from the Pew Research Center shows that parents are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and as far as job losses go, mothers and fathers are faring equally poorly.

Why it matters: Economists have been warning for months that the pandemic could do long-term damage to the economy as people remain unemployed for longer stretches of time.

Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year

Santa Claus at the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving parade. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Macy's said Santa Claus won't be greeting kids at its flagship New York store this year due to the coronavirus, interrupting a holiday tradition started nearly 160 years ago, AP reports.

The state of play: Before taking a picture with the jolly old man, crowds walk in tight quarters through a maze-like Santaland that's filled with Christmas trees, running toy trains and elves in green costumes.

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