Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The future of the economy, our national defense and this presidency are all in play in coming months  — and all controlled by actions President Trump is contemplating.

Be smart: We have hit peak volatility in markets and politics because of Trump’s wild mood swings. The volatility is warranted, because Trump is more isolated and more self-certain than ever.

  • He has threatened trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada. We will soon find out if this is smoke or if he truly starts the fire.
  • He has threatened war if North Korea doesn't surrender its nuclear ambitions — and just made a like-minded hawk, John Bolton, his national security adviser. We will soon find out if this was negotiating-ploy smoke, or if he would really start the fire. Insiders tell us that if his planned meeting with Kim Jong-un fails, options will be limited.
  • He has mused about getting rid of Robert Mueller, an action that several Republicans have warned would provoke an abuse of power crisis. We will soon find out if this is letting-off-steam smoke or if we truly spark this fire. 

Trump solo: Some White House aides are alarmed at Trump’s belief he can run the show alone, much like he did his real estate empire:

  • He’s threatening to basically run the White House like a small business with a series of compliant VPs.
  • This, more than the other three, worries departing staffers most because it allows for bad, impulsive things to not just be said but done. 

Go deeper

BodyArmor takes aim at Gatorade's sports drink dominance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

BodyArmor is making noise in the sports drink market, announcing seven new athlete partnerships last week, including Christian McCaffrey, Sabrina Ionescu and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Why it matters: It wants to market itself as a worthy challenger to the throne that Gatorade has occupied for nearly six decades.

S&P 500's historic rebound leaves investors divided on future

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 nearly closed at an all-time high on Wednesday and remains poised to go from peak to trough to peak in less than half a year.

By the numbers: Since hitting its low on March 23, the S&P has risen about 50%, with more than 40 of its members doubling, according to Bloomberg. The $12 trillion dollars of share value that vanished in late March has almost completely returned.

Newsrooms abandoned as pandemic drags on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facing enormous financial pressure and uncertainty around reopenings, media companies are giving up on their years-long building leases for more permanent work-from-home structures. Others are letting employees work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Real estate is often the most expensive asset that media companies own. And for companies that don't own their space, it's often the biggest expense.