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Data: St. Louis Federal Reserve; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The yield curve had steepened significantly this month, with yields on the 3-month and 1-month Treasury bills falling meaningfully below the 10-year note.

Why it matters: The Fed's $60 billion a month Treasury bill purchase program, announced as a "technical" salve to calm the $2 trillion U.S. repo market, looks to have provided some assistance in the steepening.

  • The spread between 3-month and 10-year yields widened by the most in five months on Oct. 11, the day the Fed announced it was beginning the T-bill buying program.
  • The curve had been inverted since May 22 but moved into positive territory on Oct. 11 and hasn't inverted since.

Of note: An inverted yield curve is a sign of an unhealthy economy and typically precedes a recession.

What to watch: Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO of global fixed income, says the Fed is pushing all the right buttons.

  • The Fed "is absorbing massive amounts of Treasury issuance, is steepening the yield curve and is allowing banks and others to lend and create velocity to the economy."

The bottom line: Don't call it quantitative easing.

Go deeper: The Treasury yield curve has steepened for all the wrong reasons

Go deeper

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.