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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

President Trump has often been his own worst enemy when it comes to his public image. He'll criticize the media for distracting from his administration's accomplishments, but in reality he's the man at the center of it all who's dictating the news cycle.

Imagine if: Trump didn’t call countries "shitholes," taunt his chief of staff over immigration on Twitter, or spend days defending his mental health. The American people might just focus on what's going well.

  • Lowest jobless claims in 1973: U.S. filings for unemployment benefits have fallen to the lowest level in almost 45 years, a sign the labor market will labor market continues to strengthen in 2018.
  • The stock market is at the highest level in history: The Dow closed above 26,000 on Wednesday, continuing a year of record-breaking increases.
  • Apple's making a massive tax payment: Apple plans to bring back the vast majority of its overseas cash — on the order of $250 billion — and several new spending plans that will directly contribute to the U.S. economy.
  • Companies are doling out raises and increased employee benefits, including Walmart, Bank of America, AT&T and Boeing, among others.
  • All other advanced economies are growing too, in part fueled by the U.S.: China's growth ticked back up in 2017, the first time in 7 years. Meanwhile, the World Bank predicts that the global economy will grow 3.1% this year.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.