Feb 12, 2019

National debt surpasses $22 trillion

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Treasury's public debt exceeded $22 trillion today, the Associated Press reports. That figure has climbed at a faster pace following the enactment of President Trump's tax cut bill in December 2017.

The big picture: When Trump took office, the debt stood at $19.95 trillion — but the rising national debt is not an issue specific to this administration. It has been increasing over the last century, accelerating significantly under the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.

The risk asset rally continues as stock market rebounds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.

Trump's troubles grow, spread

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.