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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Photo: Photo: Eitan Abramovich/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks sold off again on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing down 653 points and the S&P 500 entering into a bear market with its 2.6% percent drop — the worst Christmas Eve for those indices ever.

Driving the declines: Steven Mnuchin’s call with the big bank CEOs didn’t inspire confidence. The market also didn’t buy assurances from a senior Treasury official to CNBC that the call was just a check-in and that the Treasury had no concerns about liquidity. Adding to concerns was a tweet from President Trump that said the economy’s “only problem” was the Fed.

  • As typical, trading volume was light in the shortened session ahead of Christmas, though, which can exaggerate stock moves.

Go deeper: 2019 could be the worst year for the economy since '08

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.