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.

All economy & business stories

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

3 hours ago - Podcasts

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu on his company's post-pandemic future

DoorDash's business boomed in the pandemic, becoming a literal lifeline to many. Now it faces big questions as restaurants reopen.

Axios Re:Cap talks to CEO Tony Xu about the future of his company and the broader restaurant and e-commerce industries.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the future of travel and his company

Airbnb seems to be on the precipice of a business boom, as travel is expected to surge once herd immunity is achieved.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with CEO Brian Chesky about the company's first earnings report since going public, plus what's next for Airbnb, travel and hospitality.

9 hours ago - Economy & Business

Amazon Air thrives as other airlines struggle under weight of pandemic

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While most airlines are reeling from the effects of the pandemic, Amazon is on track to double the size of its aircraft fleet by June, a DePaul University analysis found.

Why it matters: Exploding demand for next-day delivery is fueling rapid growth of Amazon Air, the online retailer's air cargo business.

9 hours ago - Economy & Business

What we're driving: 2021 Buick Envision Avenir

2021 Buick Envision Avenir. Photo: Buick

This week I'm driving the 2021 Buick Envision, a rare American SUV that's built in China.

The big picture: Greeted with controversy when it debuted in 2016, the Envision occupies an important spot in Buick's all-SUV lineup, sandwiched between the stubby little Encore and the family-hauling Enclave.

Ina Fried, author of Login
10 hours ago - Technology

GLAAD's plan to rate social media on safety

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. Photo: GLAAD

GLAAD, a leading LGBTQ rights organization, plans to start rating social media companies based on how well they protect people from abuse, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Studies show that LGBTQ youth are three times as likely as their non-LGBTQ peers to be bullied on social media.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 hours ago - Economy & Business

Why Biden hit pause on PPP loans for businesses with over 20 employees

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration earlier this week paused the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses with more than 20 employees, in an effort to get more loans to very small businesses.

Why it matters: PPP implementation has taken lots of arrows since its initial launch last April, but this move seems to be getting broad-based applause. Even if no one really knows if it will achieve its objective.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
11 hours ago - Economy & Business

Lucid Motors delays electric vehicle production

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arrival of the first vehicle from the high-profile, soon-to-be public EV startup Lucid Motors will take longer than the company planned.

Driving the news: Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said in an open letter that COVID-19 is forcing a delay in production of the luxury Lucid Air sedan.

Boeing 777 plane makes emergency landing in Moscow over engine warning

A Rossiya Airlines Boeing 777 in 2020. Photo: An Yeongmin\TASS via Getty Images

A Boeing 777 plane made an emergency landing in Moscow on Friday due to a warning of possible engine failure, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Boeing planes still face a degree of public doubt following two deadly 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019. Two additional Boeing planes have experienced issues this month, with a Boeing 747 cargo plane malfunctioning in Europe and a Boeing 777's engine failing over the Denver area.

Rising mortgage rates dampen home sales

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Warning bells about a slowdown in the white-hot housing market are ringing louder thanks to an uptick in mortgage rates and new weakness in pending home sales.

Why it matters: Mortgage rates plummeted in 2020 as the economy buckled under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that trend is reversing, putting a damper on consumer appetite for homebuying.

13 hours ago - World

CEO of Canada's largest pension fund resigns after traveling to UAE for vaccine

Photo: Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has resigned after the Wall Street Journal revealed that he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to obtain the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Mark Machin, who managed $375 billion in assets as head of Canada's largest pension fund, reportedly used his connections to jump over millions of Canadians waiting in line for a vaccine.

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

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
14 hours ago - Economy & Business

Markets see rare convergence milestone

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

A milestone was reached in the markets Thursday: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to match the dividend yield on the S&P 500

Why it matters: The two yields have been inverted since the beginning of last year, which is historically unusual.

Mike Allen, author of AM
14 hours ago - Economy & Business

First look: Business puts muscle behind Biden

Business Roundtable, the voice of America's top CEOs, today launched "Move the Needle," a campaign to support President Biden in rolling out COVID vaccines, increasing vaccine uptake and encouraging masks.

What they're saying: "Masks and vaccines are working. Now is the time to keep at it, overcome pandemic fatigue, and double down on the measures that will end this public health and economic crisis, said Business Roundtable president and CEO Josh Bolten.

The sovereign state of Facebook vs. the world

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's 3 billion monthly active users, its mountain of money and its control over the flow of information all put the company on an equal footing with governments around the world — and, increasingly, it's getting into fights with them.

Why it matters: Facebook's power alarms governments fearful that the tech giant could tilt the political scales inside their borders, and regulators around the world are seeking ways to rein the company in.

16 hours ago - Health

Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly half of employers say they're at least considering the idea of requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for employees return to in-person work, according to a survey from Willis Towers Watson.

Why it matters: The gradual upticks in mass vaccinations has allowed America's workforce to begin to picture reopened office buildings.

16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rail's big moment is arriving

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Passenger rail could be the big winner if Congress moves ahead with President Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan.

Why it matters: There's long been bipartisan support for rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, but under Biden, the focus has shifted to sustainable projects that fulfill both his climate and equity goals, such as rail transit.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

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