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.

All economy & business stories

U.S. budget deficit reached all-time high of $864 billion in June

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. budget deficit reached $864 billion in June as Congress allocated trillions to help cushion the damage from the coronavirus recession and massive job losses reduced tax revenues, the Treasury Department said in its latest monthly report.

The big picture: It took 10 months last year for the country's budget deficit to reach roughly the same amount, at $866.8 billion. June's new high is the "biggest monthly budget deficit in history," per AP.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,984,811 — Total deaths: 570,375 — Total recoveries — 7,154,492Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,327,388— Total deaths: 135,379 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for the foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Politics: Mick Mulvaney: "We still have a testing problem in this country."

Hong Kong Disneyland to close again due to coronavirus surge

A sign announcing the park's first closure in January. Photo: Ayaka McGill/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong Disneyland on Monday announced that it would close again on July 15, after reopening last month from a coronavirus-driven shutdown that began in January.

The state of play: Hong Kong authorities ordered it to close after the city reported 38 new infections on Friday. Comparatively, Orlando's Walt Disney World reopened Saturday even as the state reported over 15,000 new cases in a single day over the weekend.

4 hours ago - Health

Mick Mulvaney: "We still have a testing problem in this country"

Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney wrote in a CNBC op-ed published Monday that if Congress seeks to pass another relief package, it should treat the economic crisis as "public-health driven" and avoid traditional fiscal measures like providing stimulus checks.

The big picture: Striking a vastly different tone from that of President Trump, who has boasted about the U.S.' testing capabilities and downplayed the severity of the health crisis, Mulvaney called for any stimulus package to "be directed at the root cause of our recession: dealing with Covid."

6 hours ago - Health

SPACs are the new IPOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Churchill Capital Corp. III has agreed to acquire health-cost management services provider MultiPlan at an initial enterprise value of $11 billion, as such deals continue to proliferate as alternatives to IPOs.

Why it matters: This is the largest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, and it also includes the largest private investment in public equity (PIPE) associated with a SPAC. Existing MultiPlan owners like Hellman & Friedman and General Atlantic will roll over more than 75% of their collective stake and own over 60% of the public company.

Scripps sells podcast business Stitcher to SiriusXM for $325 million

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

E.W. Scripps Company said Monday that it agreed to sell its podcast company, Stitcher, to SiriusXM for $325 million.

Why it matters: The sale price speaks to the extraordinary growth of the podcast industry in just a few short years.

Chip companies strike $21 billion megamerger

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Analog Devices agreed to buy Maxim Integrated Products in an all-stock deal valued at $20.9 billion.

Why it matters: This would be the year's largest tech merger so far. Analog will pay the equivalent of $78.43 per Maxim share, which represents a 22% premium to Friday's closing price. Following the deal, Analog shareholders would hold around 69% of the combined company.

Apple puts $400 million toward affordable housing

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Apple announced Monday that it is allocating $400 million toward affordable housing and homeowner assistance programs in California this year, as part of the $2.5 billion commitment announced in November.

Why it matters: The housing crisis has worsened in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing states and cities to pause spending on affordable housing projects.

Qualcomm buys $97 million stake in India's Reliance Jio

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Reliance Jio continues to rack up investment from a who's who of U.S. tech giants, with Qualcomm Ventures becoming the latest to take a stake in the Indian telecom firm. Qualcomm is investing around $97 million for a 0.15% stake in Jio Platforms, according to a press release.

Why it matters: Qualcomm's venture unit joins Facebook and Intel Capital in having invested in recent weeks, along with Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic.

Go deeper: Meet Jio, everyone's favorite Indian tech investment

Low oil prices still spell financial danger for many producers

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Chart: Axios Visuals

Oil patch bankruptcies are piling up and prices are still in the financial danger zone for a significant amount of producers despite some recovery, per a Kansas City Fed survey.

Why it matters: The finding from the bank — whose region includes the producing states of Oklahoma, Wyoming and Colorado — underscores the sector's peril.

The myth of closing the racial wealth gap with individual accomplishment

Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

The increasing number of Black millionaires and billionaires and the success of people like former President Obama have led many to speculate that the racial wealth gap in the U.S. is closing, but in fact the opposite is happening.

The big picture: Data shows that over the last 30 years, even as individual Black Americans have seen increased success, the overall wealth gap has widened.

Nasdaq optimism hits its highest level since 2000

Data: SentimenTrader; Chart: Axios Visuals

An index measuring optimism in the Nasdaq 100 rose on Friday to its highest level since just before the dot-com bubble burst.

What's happening: The three-month average of SentimenTrader's Nasdaq Optimism Index is at the highest level since 2000 and its 30-day average is at one of the highest levels ever.

Fund managers start to board the stock bandwagon

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Asset managers at major U.S. investment firms are starting to get bullish with their clients, encouraging stock buying and trying not to get left behind right as the metrics on tech stocks rise back to highs not seen since the dot-com crash of 2000.

What's happening: Appetite for stocks is starting to return, but slowly as institutional money managers were overwhelmingly sitting on the sidelines in cash during April and May.

Hedge fund wins McClatchy papers in bankruptcy auction

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

McClatchy, America's second-largest newspaper chain, announced Sunday that Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey-based hedge fund, will take over the company's assets as a result of its bankruptcy auction.

Why it matters: It's the latest step in the gradual dismantling of an industry that used to be controlled by local families with civic roots and has now largely passed into the hands of bottom-line-focused private equity managers.

11 hours ago - Health

Health workers fear new shortages of protective equipment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Health care workers faced severe shortages of face masks, gowns and other protective equipment at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and they're afraid it's happening again now.

Why it matters: Hospitals, nursing homes and physician clinics need this equipment to protect themselves and to avoid spreading infection. Supplies are already stretched thin, and will likely get thinner as the coronavirus and flu season converge in the fall.

More economy & business stories