Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Greek assets have been on fire this year, and more particularly in the past two weeks as investors position for a more business-friendly government to take the reins from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Why it matters: After years of being viewed as a market pariah — thrice bailed out by its eurozone creditors, limping from one austerity budget to the next — Greece last year began its road to economic recovery, with "positive developments" noted by an IMF monitor. (Though it is still the fund's 3rd largest borrower after Argentina and Ukraine.)

Driving the news: Tsipras' far-left Syriza party suffered massive defeats in European Parliament elections on May 26, and the government called for snap elections by June 30.

  • Greece's benchmark stock exchange has surged 38% year-to-date and an MSCI collection of its largest companies has gained 28%, outpacing every major stock index in the world, data from FactSet shows.
  • Much of that has come in the weeks since the May 26 ballot.

The big picture: Bonds globally have performed well, but Greece has seen particularly rousing returns. Yields on 10-year notes fell to record lows after the election results and have continued to drop. (Yields fall as prices rise.)

  • The yield spread between 10-year Greek government debt and its German equivalent has fallen to just 300 basis points, even with German yields at all-time lows well below 0%.
  • Greece's 5-year government bond yields earlier this month were lower than comparable Italian bonds for the first time since 2008.

"The decline since the start of the year is remarkable, with Datastream data showing that the yield dipped below 2% for the first time since the series started in 1997," analysts at Fathom Consulting note.

  • It's all the more impressive given that Greece issued a 10-year bond with a yield of around 3.9% in March.
  • GDP has returned to growth, rising an estimated 2.1% in 2018 with an IMF forecast of 2.4% in 2019 after years of declines.

Yes, but: Greece's economic numbers have not been spectacular all around. Its current account deficit rose significantly in March and its unemployment rate remains an elevated 18% — well below the 28.4% record high reported in February 2014, but still almost double 2009 levels of 9.7%.

Go deeper: Europe moves on from financial crisis, but Greece is still recovering

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
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  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protester dies after car drives through closed highway in Seattle

Protesters gather on Interstate 5 on June 23, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

One person is dead and another is in serious condition after a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and into protesters against police brutality, AP reports.

  • "Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died in the evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said."

Where it stands: The suspect, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, and was later put in custody after another protester chased him for about a mile. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Officials told the AP they did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but the driver was not impaired.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.