Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

ISM's stronger-than-expected reading of U.S. services sector data grabbed headlines, but IHS Markit's index told a different story.

Flashback: In December, similar divergence popped up in the two indexes' manufacturing reports, but with ISM's data showing much weaker numbers — the worst manufacturing report in a decade.

  • As I wrote then, "One reason for this divergence, highlighted by IHS Markit's chief business economist Chris Williamson in a recent blog, may be that IHS explicitly tells respondents to 'confine their reporting to U.S. facilities/factories.'"
  • "ISM data could therefore be more heavily influenced by global conditions facing ... U.S.-owned companies than the IHS Markit data," Williamson writes.

What it means: A similar phenomenon may be happening with the services sector — ISM's gauge may be stronger because multinational companies are seeing improved business overseas and translating that into their responses for the U.S. survey.

The state of play: The JPMorgan Global business survey data (compiled by IHS Markit) showed a record surge of just over 10 index points in May.

  • China saw especially strong output growth with the combined manufacturing and service sectors rising at the fastest rate since January 2011, making it the only country on Earth to see its readings in positive territory.

Go deeper

5 mins ago - Health

Top business leaders urge White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines

A man walks past a Ramen restaurant in Los Angeles, California on July 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The heads of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, National Retail Federation and other top business organizations wrote an open letter on Thursday urging the White House coronavirus task force to work with governors to make face coverings mandatory in all public spaces.

Driving the news: An analysis led by Goldman Sachs' chief economist found that a national mandate requiring face coverings would "could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP," the Washington Post reports.

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 10,763,604 — Total deaths: 517,667 — Total recoveries — 5,522,094Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 2,715,124 — Total deaths: 128,439 — Total recoveries: 729,994 — Total tested: 32,827,359Map.
  3. Public health: What we know about the immune response to coronavirus and what it means for a vaccine.
  4. Politics: Herman Cain hospitalized for COVID-19 after attending Trump Tulsa rally — Biden downplays jobs number, rebukes Trump for ignoring health crisis.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases — 5 states saw 27% spike in heart-related deaths in first 3 months of coronavirus pandemic.

The other immune responders to COVID-19

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Scientists are inching closer to understanding how antibodies and immune cells are unleashed by the body in response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Natural immunity differs from that afforded by vaccination but it offers clues for the design of effective vaccines and therapies.