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Data: Dealogic; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

BB&T agreed to buy SunTrust Banks for $28.2 billion in stock, creating the country's sixth largest bank by assets and deposits. If approved, it would be the biggest U.S. bank merger since the 2008 financial crisis.

By the numbers: The merged bank will have $442 billion in assets, with BB&T contributing a little more than $225 billion and SunTrust contributing the rest, WSJ's Justin Lahart writes:

"A bank relief law passed last year raised the threshold for stricter oversight by the Federal Reserve to $250 billion in assets from $50 billion. With both banks on the verge of reaching that higher threshold, why not join forces and reap the cost savings of a merged entity?"

Go deeper: Regional banks BB&T and SunTrust to merge in $66 billion deal.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.