Economy & Business

Why it matters: Despite murmurs of an impending economic crash, the U.S. has seen strong job growth and record low unemployment as trade wars, sweeping technological change and new media consumption habits are changing the American economy.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,553,591 — Total deaths: 561,038 — Total recoveries — 6,909,209Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,188,982 — Total deaths: 134,130 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.

Coalition of businesses urges Trump to keep DACA in place following SCOTUS ruling

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A collection of business executives including those of Apple, Facebook, Google and General Motors urged President Trump in a letter on Saturday to keep DACA in place following a recent Supreme Court ruling that deemed the administration's original attempt to shutter the program unconstitutional, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Approximately 800,000 young immigrants rely on DACA as their means to remain in the U.S. Business leaders argued in the letter that deporting DACA recipients would negatively impact the economy and the fight against the coronavirus.

How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thanks in part to pandemic-driven disruptions of conventional meat processing, sales and interest in plant-based alternatives are taking off, changing the future of food.

Why it matters: Meat-processing plants have proven especially vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks, and meat consumption adds to climate change. Better-tasting alternatives could shrink that environmental footprint while solidifying the supply chain for protein.

Delta CEO: Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travel

Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Friday told CNN that he believes the Trump administration should move to require the use of face masks during air travel amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: Delta already requires passengers to wear masks during its flights, but Bastian says it can be difficult to enforce that directive if passengers refuse — and he's not sure if other airlines would be on board.

What we're driving: 2020 Cadillac XT4

The 2020 Cadillac XT4's interior. Photo: GM

Last week I drove to northern Michigan in the 2020 Cadillac XT4, a compact crossover utility.

The big picture: The XT4 is Cadillac's entry-level crossover. It was introduced in 2019, but adds important assisted-driving features as standard equipment for 2020.

Elon Musk claims Tesla is on the cusp of developing fully self-driving cars

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a Chinese audience the carmaker is on the verge of developing fully self-driving cars, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: It's a claim he's made many times before, but has yet to deliver, so take it with a grain of salt.

Biden's big economic plan plays it down the middle for Democrats

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Joe Biden yesterday laid out the broad strokes of his economic policy platform, which seemingly is designed to not freak out centrists and not piss off progressives.

Why it matters: Biden has a better-than-even shot of becoming the next president, which means his tax plans could become everyone's tax bills.

ByteDance rethinks corporate structures for TikTok after political backlash

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ByteDance is considering new corporate structures for its TikTok business, as it comes under political pressure in the U.S. and other countries for ties to China's government, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The Beijing-based firm is the world's most valuable privately held tech company, estimated to be worth upwards of $110 billion by direct investors and $150 billion in recent secondary market trades.

Electric vehicle startup Fisker could go public

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Fisker, one of the many electric-vehicle startups with big plans to make cars but no actual production yet, could soon become a public company.

Why it matters: If Fisker has a successful public launch, it'll be yet another sign that the market hive-mind sees something in electric-vehicle startups that aren't yet reflected in their actual financials.

Electric vehicle startup Rivian lands $2.5 billion in new funding

Rivian's R1T pickup. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Electric vehicle company Rivian announced Friday the close of a $2.5 billion funding round.

Why it matters: It's another sign that the Michigan-based company is very well-positioned among the suite of electric vehicle startups with vehicles heading to the market.

Nasdaq's divergence from the Dow has some investors worried about a tech bubble

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. tech stocks continue rising even as the broader market falls, furthering the divide between the economically driven Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Why it matters: As earnings continue to be written down and the Nasdaq's value continues to rise, it has pushed the index to a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 34.2, well above its historical average, according to FactSet.

The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through personal responsibility

Data: Survey of Consumer Finances, reproduced from Hamilton Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The myth that Black Americans can close the racial wealth gap through "personal responsibility" comes in part from a misunderstanding of what wealth is.

The big picture: As noted by a report last year from the Cleveland Fed, the income gap between Black and white Americans is the result of "persistent systemic differences in economic opportunity," rather than a lack of responsibility.

The second jobs apocalypse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, United Airlines warned 36,000 U.S. employees their jobs were at risk, Walgreens cut more than 4,000 jobs, it was reported Wells Fargo is preparing thousands of terminations this year, and Levi's axed 700 jobs due to falling sales.

Why it matters: We have entered round two of the jobs apocalypse. Those announcements followed similar ones from the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Choice hotels, which all have announced thousands of job cuts, and the bankruptcies of more major U.S. companies like 24 Hour Fitness, Brooks Brothers and Chuck E. Cheese in recent days.

Airlines say air quality, cleanliness lower coronavirus risk

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Airlines are trying to reassure customers the risk of being infected by the coronavirus on a flight is low because of their improved cleaning efforts and sophisticated cabin ventilation systems.

Why it matters: The airline industry can't recover until passengers feel it is safe to travel again.

Airline recovery falters before it even gets off the ground

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Any hope for a rebound in air travel this year has vanished, with coronavirus cases surging in much of the U.S. and some states imposing quarantines to keep visitors away.

Why it matters: The airline industry is already suffering the worst crisis in its history. The soaring infection rates mean planes will be grounded even longer, putting tens of thousands of people out of work in the coming months.

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