1. The great American job machine continues to chug along: The number of jobless workers filing for new unemployment claims fell to a seasonally-adjusted rate of just 235,000, well below economists' expectations of 260,000, an indication that the job market remains strong. Look for a solid jobs reports tomorrow in light of strong data this week.
  2. Macy's Department Stores is shutting down almost 70 stores and cutting 10,000 jobs following a disappointing holiday season. Though the American economy may be on the rebound, the best days of retailers like Macy's are well behind them.. While Macy's has performed better than rivals Sears and J,C. Penney, it is not immune to the twin killers of e-commerce and the hollowing out of the American middle class.
  3. Bitcoin rose to a nearly all-time high on Wednesday of $1153.02 before crashing nearly 30%. The rapid rise in recent months was seen as evidence of investors in China attempting to evade their countries capital controls. Despite Chinese regulations against moving wealth out of the country, more than $750 billion fled last year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The subsequent crash shows that many investors are in the currency for purely speculative reasons.

What to watch today: Everybody on CNBC is still breathlessly awaiting Dow 20,000.

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Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 11,520,461 — Total deaths: 535,499 — Total recoveries — 6,231,052Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 2,911,888 — Total deaths: 130,101 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,515,075Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots.
  4. States: West Virginia becomes latest state to mandate facial coverings in public.
  5. Politics: Cuomo accuses Trump of "enabling" the coronavirus surge — Sen. Chuck Grassley opts out of attending GOP convention over coronavirus concerns.

Trump ramps up culture war attacks

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump's attacks are spreading to sports that are cornerstones of rural, conservative white American life.

Why it matters: The culture war that engulfed the NBA and NFL is reaching other major leagues, with teams that stonewalled activists for years suddenly showing a willingness to listen.

Foreign students could be forced to leave U.S. if colleges move online

Harvard University campus. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Foreign college students could be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer schools if their universities move classes entirely online this fall, according to guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday.

Why it matters: Several U.S. colleges and universities — most recently Harvard — have announced plans to move most or all courses online this fall due to coronavirus concerns. Many institutions rely heavily on tuition from international students.