Jan 28, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 383 words, a 1.5-minute read.

1 big thing: A first since 1946

The last time the U.S. economy shrank as much as in 2020 was in 1946, at the tail end of WWII.

  • The big picture: Full-year GDP fell 3.5% from 2019, with the recovery slowing down at the end of the year, Courtenay Brown reports.
Source: St. Louis Fed; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers:

  • 33.4%: annualized GDP growth in Q3 of 2020.
  • 4%: annualized GDP growth in Q4.

The U.S. economy remains in a deep hole and a full economic recovery is a ways off. The economy is still over $473 billion smaller than it was before the pandemic hit.

The stock market was a silver lining in 2020, but is already proving to be more of a problem in 2021.

  • It now faces a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Earlier today, major trading platforms like Robinhood, TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers restricted access to hot stocks like GameStop, angering everybody from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Sen. Ted Cruz.

  • Robinhood cited "recent volatility" for the stoppage and said in a statement that it planned to allow limited buying tomorrow.
  • GameStop traded as low as $112.25 and as high as $482.85 today — an astonishing range, Axios' Felix Salmon notes.
Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals
2. Trump wins again
Photo via Kevin McCarthy’s office

This does not look like a Republican Party that's rushing to move on from former President Trump:

  1. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy flew down to Florida today to pay his respects. In a statement, he said Trump "committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022."
  2. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who voted to impeach, is underwater with GOP voters in a poll commissioned by Trump's political arm.
  3. Only five Senate Republicans were willing to vote against dismissing the impeachment trial.
3. Catch up quick

Secret Service vehicles parked outside of Blair House, which is serving as temporary home for Vice President Harris, in D.C. on Monday. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

  1. General Motors plans to go all-electric by 2035. Go deeper.
  2. Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning four of the five cases it chose to review. Go deeper.
  3. The state of New York undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released by state Attorney General Letitia James. Go deeper.
  4. President Biden rescinded the anti-abortion "global gag rule."
4. 1 smile to go: Very good boys

A Malinois being trained to sniff out COVID-19. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

The Miami Heat will use coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans ahead of tonight's game at AmericanAirlines Arena, Axios Sports' Kendall Baker reports.

Why it matters: A German study last year found that trained dogs were able to sniff out COVID-19 with 94% accuracy.

  • If guests are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs, they can submit a rapid antigen test instead, which can be processed in less than 45 minutes.