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The Federal Reserve unanimously decided to cut interest rates by half-a-percentage point — a large amount — in an emergency response to the spread of coronavirus and its impact on the economy.

Why it matters: The last time the Fed announced an interest rate cut outside a regularly scheduled meeting was in the midst of the financial crisis. The rare move shows the Fed's effort to stem any impact the coronavirus poses to the record-long economic recovery.

Between the lines: Market-watchers say a rate cut is not an adequate response to the coronavirus outbreak, though it could "soften collateral damage to spending and confidence," as the Wall Street Journal puts it.

  • "Certainly, rate cuts will not help re-stock emptying grocery shelves. Monetary policy is hopeless when supply simply cannot feed demand," Seema Shah, chief strategist at asset management firm Principal Global Investors, said in a statement.

How it's playing: Stocks fell slightly after Powell's comments, giving back some of Monday's big gains. As of Tuesday morning, the S&P was teetering back into correction territory, or 10% below its record high.

What they're saying: "We do recognize a rate cut won't reduce rate of infection. We don't think we have all the answers," Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Tuesday.

  • "The ultimate solutions to this challenge will come from others, particularly health professionals. We can and will do our part, however, to keep the U.S. economy strong."

Driving the news: The sudden move Tuesday came on the heels of exhortations on Twitter by President Trump for the Fed to act — and after the Fed telegraphed on Friday that it would move soon to react to the rapidly unspooling coronavirus outbreak.

  • After the Fed's announcement, Trump said the cut wasn't enough: "More easing and cutting!" the president tweeted.
  • "We're never going to consider any political considerations whatsoever," Powell told reporters, in response to a questions about whether the rate cut was motivated by Trump's goading.

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Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.