German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Stefan Sauer/AP

A measure of European manufacturing released Wednesday showed that sector performing better than any time since 2011, and marks the sixth straight month of improvement. This is after fairly strong growth of late — the bloc even grew faster than the U.S. last year.

Why it matters: The European Union is the United States' 2nd largest export destination, so a healthier Europe is bullish for the U.S.

Analysis of the recent runup in stock prices on Wall Street has placed a lot of importance on proposals coming from Washington, but better data out of Europe and China deserves its own due credit.

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"Hamilton" is a streaming hit for Disney+

Data: Google Trends; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The debut of "Hamilton" on Disney+ last Friday sent downloads of the app soaring over the weekend.

Why it matters: With theaters closed until 2021, "Hamilton" is the biggest litmus test for whether Broadway will ever be able to successfully transition some of its iconic hits.

Wall Street is no longer betting on Trump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Betting markets have turned decisively toward an expected victory for Joe Biden in November — and asset managers at major investment banks are preparing for not only a Biden win, but potentially a Democratic sweep of the Senate and House too.

Why it matters: Wall Street had its chips on a Trump win until recently — even in the midst of the coronavirus-induced recession and Biden's rise in the polls.

With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The draconian security law that Beijing forced upon Hong Kong last week contains an article making it illegal for anyone in the world to promote democratic reform for Hong Kong.

Why it matters: China has long sought to crush organized dissent abroad through quiet threats and coercion. Now it has codified that practice into law — potentially forcing people and companies around the world to choose between speaking freely and ever stepping foot in Hong Kong again.