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 Aug 9, 2020 - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."