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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Siemens Healthineers to buy Varian Medical Systems for $16.4 billion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Siemens Healthineers, a medical tech affiliate of Siemens, agreed to buy Palo Alto-based cancer therapy company Varian Medical Systems for $16.4 billion in cash.

Why it matters: It would be the health care sector's largest merger so far in 2020.

A wild weekend for Microsoft's play for TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While its Big Tech rivals were testifying in front of a congressional antitrust committee last week, Microsoft was negotiating what could be the largest — and most politically perilous — tech acquisition of 2020.

The state of play: The hullabaloo surrounding Microsoft picking up TikTok has undergone a flurry of twists and turns over the weekend, as both the White House and the tech giant reacted in real time.

XFL sold to group that includes Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for $15 million

Photo: Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The XFL sold Monday for $15 million to a group that includes former WWE star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sportico reports.

The state of play: The move does not necessarily mean the upstart football league is returning.

Cadillac to unveil the Lyriq, its first all-electric model

Charging port of the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq. Courtesy of Cadillac.

On Thursday night, General Motors' luxury Cadillac unit will unveil the Lyriq, a crossover that marks Cadillac's first foray into all-electric models.

Why it matters: The stakes are high because GM is putting Cadillac at the forefront of its expanding push into electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors going public via SPAC deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Lordstown Motors is about to become the latest electric vehicle startup to go public via purchase by a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the transaction structure that's fast becoming an alternative to IPOs.

The state of play: Lordstown, which plans to build a pickup truck at a former GM plant in Ohio, on Monday announced a merger agreement with DiamondPeak Holdings. The deal will provide $675 million in proceeds to help fund production of the Endurance, a model Lordstown hopes to launch in 2021 aimed largely at the commercial fleet market.

Marathon to sell Speedway gas stations to 7-Eleven for $21 billion

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Refining giant Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced late Sunday that it's selling its Speedway retail gasoline stations and convenience stores to 7-Eleven, Inc. in a $21 billion cash deal.

Why it matters: It's the year's biggest energy deal thus far, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Worry about negative July jobs report grows

Economists at major investment banks are expecting to see job growth reverse course when July's jobs report is released on Friday.

Why it matters: After 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs in April, the worst jobs report in history, May and June saw an unexpected bounce in hiring, but data suggest that bounce has ended.

Inflation rising in emerging markets

Data:Investing.com ; Chart: Axios Visuals

As the coronavirus pandemic throttles economies around the globe, central banks are keeping rates low and using quantitative easing policies similar to the Fed's even in some emerging countries.

Why it matters: Policymakers are likely to face a grim choice very soon: whether to continue to support economic growth by keeping rates low and risking a marked increase in inflation, or raise rates to tamp down on inflation and risk exacerbating the coronavirus-driven recession.

Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Scoop: Top CEOs urge Congress to help small businesses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.

David Muir is the most-watched man in summer TV

David Muir. Photo: ABC News

A quirk of the shutdown era, going back to March, has been the resurgence of evening news shows.

The intrigue: With no Olympics, and "60 Minutes" and other shows in summer reruns, ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir" — for weeks — has been the most watched show on all of television.

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

6 hours ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.

Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy

Pedestrians walk past a shuttered Lord & Taylor department store in Garden City, New York, in May. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Lord & Taylor filed for Chapter 11 protection in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The 194-year-old luxury department store chain is the oldest in the United States. It's the latest retailer to declare bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic. Less than a year ago, Le Tote purchased Lord & Taylor from Hudson's Bay Co., the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue. Le Tote also filed for Chapter 11 protection, per the New York Times.

Go deeper: The impending retail apocalypse

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that Le Tote also filed for bankruptcy.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 18,117,821 — Total deaths: 690,181 — Total recoveries — 10,712,894Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 4,675,628 — Total deaths: 154,944 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: The pandemic is boosting the public's view of doctors.
  6. Travel: At least 41 people test positive aboard Norwegian cruise ship.

Top Fed official: Short, sharp coronavirus lockdown will enable recovery

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari in New York City last October. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

A top Federal Reserve official told CBS Sunday that a "really hard" four- to six-week lockdown could benefit the U.S. economy as Congress "has the resources to support those who are most hurting" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details: Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari said a short lockdown "could get the case count down so that our testing and our contact tracing was actually enough to control it the way that it's happening in the Northeast right now."

Updated 15 hours ago - Economy & Business

Microsoft moves ahead with talks to buy TikTok after consulting Trump

Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Sunday it would pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance "in a matter of weeks" about buying the app in the U.S. following conversations between President Trump and the tech giant's CEO Satya Nadella.

Details: Microsoft said in a blog post the two firms are exploring a preliminary proposal that would see Microsoft buy the TikTok service in Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the U.S. "During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President," the post noted.

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