While not yet sounding an alarm, top strategists at BlackRock are starting to worry about the possibility of U.S. stagflation — high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand.

What they're saying: Mike Pyle, chief investment strategist for the BlackRock Investment Institute, sees inflation as set to pick up "thanks to more tariffs and faster wage growth in the face of a tight labor market," he says in a note to clients.

  • "A mix of lower growth and higher inflation complicates the Fed’s effort to achieve maximum employment and stable prices."

Be smart: Despite a recent armistice between the U.S. and China on the trade war, BII strategists believe the tensions are underpinned by "structural" issues, reducing the likelihood of a meaningful deal and keeping the trade war brewing for some time.

  • "U.S. growth could fall materially below trend in coming quarters," Pyle says. And with China slowing and Europe struggling, the U.S. is "unlikely to get much help from the rest of the world."

The bottom line: "Trade tensions pose the risk of slowing growth and rising inflation — a potential threat to stock and bond markets alike."

Go deeper: Recession fears are making companies more responsible

Go deeper

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 19,451,097 — Total deaths: 722,835 — Total recoveries — 11,788,665Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2. p.m. ET: 4,968,413 — Total deaths: 161,858 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  4. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  5. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
4 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.