Two closely-watched surveys on Tuesday showed a bigger-than-expected slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector in August — including one by the Institute for Supply Management that indicated the industry contracted for the first time since 2016.

Why it matters: The trade war, cited as a top concern among manufacturing firms, is viewed as a big factor driving the global economic slowdown. This is particularly true in the manufacturing sector, which has retreated significantly from its initial "Trump bump" after the election.

Details: The ISM survey's "purchasing managers’ index" had a reading of 49.1% last month, ending a 35-month period of expansion. Readings below 50% are considered contractions. Another survey by IHS Markit showed an index that reflects the health of the industry has slipped to its lowest level since 2009.

  • Amid fears that the U.S. may be on the brink of a recession, "manufacturing is likely to have again acted as a significant drag on the economy in the third quarter, dampening GDP growth," Chris Williamson, an economist at IHS Markit said in a release.

Go deeper: Manufacturing numbers around the world keep getting worse

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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences at the rush to confirm a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
21 mins ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.

Ted Cruz doesn't think the Hunter Biden attacks are working

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told "Axios on HBO" he doesn't think the Trump campaign's focus on the Biden family's business dealings are having any sway with voters.

The big picture: After watching the Trump-Biden debate with "Axios on HBO" on Thursday night, Cruz said he thought Trump had done very well. But when asked whether he thought voters were moved by the release of the Hunter Biden emails, Cruz replied, "I don't think it moves a single voter."