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Data: Institute for Supply Management, IHS Markit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two surveys of the U.S. manufacturing industry both showed strong readings last month, with data provider IHS Markit's reading touching its highest level since late 2014.

Between the lines: The headline numbers were reassuring, as were the report's details.

  • “The rise in investment spending sends a welcome signal that companies have become more optimistic about longer term prospects, something that was reinforced by a surge in firms’ expectations about production in the year ahead — even in consumer-facing sectors — to the highest since early-2015," Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a press release.

The big picture: "If we look at the world's six largest economies they either have buoyant November manufacturing PMIs (US, China, Germany, India and the UK), or, in the case of a lagging Japan, are showing clear signs of improvement," says Deutsche Bank chief international strategist Alan Ruskin in a note to clients titled "Global PMI is in a 'big is beautiful' virtuous cycle."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Vaccines and strong economy could mean inflation in 2021

Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

With nearly $3 trillion in lending from the Fed this year, and Congress approving $900 billion in debt-financed spending on top of the $3.1 trillion budget deficit in fiscal year 2020, inflation hawks are sounding the alarm.

Why it matters: “Inflation staying low and well-behaved is the foundation on which everything in markets is currently priced,” Karen Ward, chief market strategist for Europe at JPMorgan Asset Management, told FT.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.