Investors were hoping to come away from this week's earnings reports with a better sense of how tech companies were faring amid the coronavirus pandemic, but they ended up with some dollops of sobering news on a heap of continuing uncertainty.

The big picture: Tech may be the sector best poised to ride out the economic disruptions caused by the illness, but it won't be immune from the pain, and even some of its revenue gains will be dented by a higher cost of doing business.

Three key takeaways:

1. Ad dollars are disappearing fast. This was clear in Google's and Facebook's reports but made even clearer in Thursday's report from Twitter. CFO Ned Segal noted that its ads business so far in April is similar to the 27% decline it was seeing at the end of March.

2. The sour economy is going to take a toll, even on the giants. It's not just the ad-powered companies bracing for a hit. Both Microsoft and Apple did beat (already lowered) market expectations, but most of the first quarter preceded the full impact of the pandemic.

  • Amazon, which would appear to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the abrupt shift to e-commerce, said Thursday that it expects to invest billions of dollars this quarter, potentially posting a loss, to better serve customers and protect employees.

3. No one really knows just how bad it is going to get. Apple declined to offer any specific earnings forecast for the coming quarter, while others offered plenty of caveats to the guidance they gave, cautioning that it's really hard to know what the second half of the year will bring.

Go deeper: Amazon stock falls after tech giant forecasts billions in coronavirus spending

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Updated 5 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Australian officials in Victoria announced Sunday 17 more deaths from COVID-19 — a new state and national record.

The big picture: Australia was on track to suppress the novel coronavirus in May, but cases have been spiking in Victoria in recent weeks, where a state of disaster was declared last week, enabling officials to introduce restrictions including a night-time curfew in state capital Melbourne.

Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus

Surgeon General Jerome Adams the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Friday stressed the importance of Americans getting flu vaccines for the next influenza season, noting that the country has "been backsliding in terms of vaccine confidence over the last several years."

Why it matters: A bad flu season could put even more strain on the country's health system resources, which are especially limited in domestic coronavirus epicenters like Florida and California.

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.