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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Italy's back-to-back economic contractions to end 2018 put the country in recession and its stock market, like most of Europe, suffered. Things aren't looking to get much better this year, as country has a projected growth rate of 0.1%.

Yes, but: Since Dec. 27, Italy's benchmark FTSE MiB has been on a tear, rising to bull market territory and outperforming broader European stocks and the S&P 500. (The S&P 500 hit its lowest point on Dec. 24 and the FTSE MiB hit bottom on Dec. 27.)

What's happening: It's been a rally based on relief, says Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FX Street who just returned from a trip to Venice.

"Statistics have been a bit better than expected, or more accurately not as bad as feared. Domestic politics are tilting a bit to the League, which is viewed as more business friendly than the 5 Star, with which it shares power."

Between the lines: Most important to the bounceback, Trevisani says, "the Italians are clearly optimists."

Flashback: Markets at the start of Italy's technical recession

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Facebook boycott organizers share details on their Zuckerberg meeting

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

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