Photo: Paul Sakuma / AP

Honeywell today announced that it will spin off its Homes and ADI global distribution business, which generates around $4.5 billion in annual revenue, into a separate stand-alone company. It also will do the same with its transportation systems unit, which brings in around $3 billion per year.

Why it's a big deal: Because Honeywell is playing honey badger to activist investor Third Point, which has instead been calling for a spin-off of the company's aerospace division.

Salt in the wound: By spinning off those other units instead, Honeywell is effectively doubling down on aerospace at a time when the pending merger of Rockwell Collins and United Technologies (which Honeywell tried to buy) could make competing more difficult.

Early returns: Honeywell shares climbed at the Tuesday open but then dipped a bit. The company opened with a market cap just north of $109 billion.

Bottom line from Reuters: "Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk, like his peers at other industrial conglomerates, has been under pressure to pull apart a portfolio of disparate businesses that includes automotive turbo chargers, burglar alarms, and the Xtratuf boots popular in Alaska's fishing industry."

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Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe