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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Unexpectedly strong U.S. data may have helped pull the stock market out of its funk over the past few days.

Driving the news: Following Tuesday’s stronger-than-expected consumer confidence report from the Conference Board, ADP reported the biggest increase in private-sector job growth in three months Wednesday and a measure of business conditions in the Midwest rose to the highest level since the end of 2018.

  • The Chicago PMI jumped to 62.4 in September from 51.2 in August, and was well above Wall Street’s expectations of 52 (a reading above 50 indicates improving conditions).

One level deeper: New orders and production both rose to nearly two-year highs and all five main components of the index rose.

  • The Midwest region, which had suffered in 2019 as President Trump's trade war with China weighed heavily on demand, has seen particularly strong readings for its manufacturing sector in recent months thanks to a jump in car sales.

Yes, but: Like all purchasing managers indexes, the Chicago PMI only measures sentiment.

  • And while the surveys show things have radically improved, manufacturing’s sales, shipment and employment figures continue to lag well behind January and February’s levels.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. sheds 140,000 jobs in December, halting labor market recovery

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shed 140,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate held at 6.7%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The job market recovery that had been underway for the past seven months ended last month, buckling from the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 59 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

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