Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Fitch is expecting to cut the ratings on a record high number of companies this year as the pace of downgrades has "dramatically increased, owing to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic," analysts note in a recent report.

The state of play: After just 58 downgrades in the first 10 weeks of 2020, there have been an additional 347 corporate and financial institution issuers downgraded for a total of 405 through the end of April.

  • There were a total of 1,068 negative rating actions taken in corporate and financial institutions during that time.
  • And though downgrades accounted for less than 40% of the negative actions, the increased level of negative rating outlooks "signal more downgrades are likely during the remainder of 2020 and into 2021," per the report.

Why it matters: Lower credit ratings make it more expensive for companies to borrow money and can lead to bankruptcy and insolvency for some firms.

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Trump floats executive action even if stimulus deal is reached

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The White House is finalizing a series of executive orders addressing key coronavirus stimulus priorities if negotiations with Congress fall apart, and it's leaving the door open for President Trump to use them even if a deal is reached that doesn't encompass all of his priorities, two administration officials tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: “I wouldn't be surprised that, if something gets left off the table, we’d be like ‘we can take this executive action too and be able to win on it anyway,’” one official said.

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TikTok responds to Trump executive order: "We are shocked"

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TikTok said Friday that it was "shocked" by President Trump's executive order that will ban Americans from dealing with ByteDance, its China-based owner, in 45 days.

Why it matters: TikTok argued that Trump's move "risks undermining global businesses' trust in the United States' commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth."

U.S. economy adds 1.8 million jobs in July

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. added 1.8 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 10.2% from 11.1% in June, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continued to recover but the pace of job growth slowed significantly from June’s 4.8 million job gain, suggesting a stalled improvement as coronavirus cases surged and states pulled back on reopening plans.