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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Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.
Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

13 Nobel Prize-winning economists back Biden

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released on Tuesday a letter signed by 13 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics who say that while their views are different, they all think his policies "will result in economic growth that is faster, more robust, and more equitable."

Our thought bubble, via Axios Hans Nichols: These economist letters are often little more than veiled job applications from academics hoping for a Fed or White House position. But given that these laureates are éminence grises of American economics, they probably just want to be on the record supporting Biden.

The price of Washington's stimulus failure

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America's elected representatives have failed America.

Why it matters: The bipartisan inability to deliver economic stimulus could impede economic growth for months to come. It will create widespread damage across America — from small businesses to large industries to schools and day cares — and leave many Americans without jobs or homes.

16 hours ago - Podcasts

RBG and the future of American health care

Before her death, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was preparing to hear a case that could determine the availability of affordable health insurance for around 20 million Americans. Plus for those with pre-existing conditions.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the case and what happens next with University of Michigan law professor and Supreme Court expert Nicholas Bagley.

16 hours ago - Economy & Business

Award show viewership drops to record lows

Expand chart
Data: Nielsen; Chart: Axios Visuals

Viewership of Sunday's 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards dropped 11% year-over-year to 6.1 million viewers, according to preliminary ratings from Nielsen. Viewership from people ages 18-49, the prized advertising demographic, fell to a new low of just 1.2 million viewers.

Why it matters: Award shows have been experiencing a terminal ratings decline in recent years, alongside traditional television viewership more broadly. Even before the pandemic, the Oscars and Grammys saw historically low ratings earlier this year.

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

Retail traders drove Snowflake and Unity Software's IPO surges

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The story of last week's Snowflake and Unity Software IPOs had little to do with data warehousing or 3D game development, and lots to do with dizzying "pops" after pricing.

What happened: The Robinhood effect.

21 hours ago - Economy & Business

Microsoft acquires gaming giant ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion

Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft said Monday it would acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the largest privately held game developers and publishers in the world, for $7.5 billion in cash. 

Why it matters: The deal brings an unprecedented level of gaming expertise and resources, including intellectual property, talent, and technology, to Microsoft's Xbox. It will also help further lift Microsoft's cloud gaming suite, Xbox Game Pass.

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

Garrett Motion files for bankruptcy, agrees to be acquired

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Garrett Motion, a New York-listed auto parts manufacturer based in Switzerland, filed for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy that would include a $2.1 billion sale to KPS Capital Partners.

Behind the scenes: This deal is driven as much by ongoing litigation with former parent company Honeywell as it is by the pandemic-driven slowdown in auto manufacturing.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
22 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Walmart aims for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

A Walmart store. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walmart said Monday that it's aiming to have zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations by 2040.

Why it matters: It is the latest corporate giant to make an aggressive long-term pledge, and Walmart says it'll do it without offsets — that is, paying for climate-friendly projects elsewhere while continuing its own emissions.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
23 hours ago - Economy & Business

Unemployment concerns are growing

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Initial unemployment insurance filings fell below 800,000 for the first time since March last week, but the total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits remained at nearly 30 million, data from the Department of Labor shows.

What's happening: While fewer people are filing initial jobless claims, there remains a staggering number of unemployment insurance recipients and the data are growing increasingly unreliable.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
23 hours ago - Economy & Business

The tech war between the U.S. and China escalates

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic tension between the U.S. and China continues to escalate but is shifting in focus — away from the tit-for-tat trade war and toward a more direct confrontation over the future of technology at the heart of the conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Why it matters: The battle between the U.S. and China was always about tech supremacy and the direct confrontation could result in an accelerated splintering of global supply chains and a significant reduction of international commerce.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Wall Street: Recession is over

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. economic activity fell more sharply in the second quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history. It's also going to grow more sharply in the third quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history.

  • The recession is over, according to Wall Street, with current forecasts showing sustained economic growth through 2021 and beyond.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 21, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Nikola founder steps aside amid allegations of fraud

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Nikola announced Monday that executive chairman Trevor Milton, who is also the company's founder, is out as the electric and fuel cell truck startup reportedly faces federal inquiries into a short-seller's allegations of inaccurate or misleading statements.

Why it matters: It's the latest move in a head-spinning series of events for Nikola.

College students give failing grade on return to campus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

College students are learning less, partying less and a majority say the decision to return to campus was a bad decision, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The enthusiasm to forge something resembling a college experience has dissipated as online learning, lockdowns and a diminished social life has set in.

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