A bad sign

Social-distancing rules were tightened in Bangkok, Seoul and parts of Vietnam as the more easily transmitted delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread. Tokyo entered its fourth state of emergency and Sydney had a 45% spike in daily cases. In the U.S., which still leads the world in total infections and deaths, there was another bad sign as confirmed cases soared 47% in one week, the largest such rise since April 2020. The increase has been mostly in Republican-leaning states, where Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease specialist, said “ideological rigidity” is stopping people from getting shots. But Democratic strongholds aren’t being spared: In New York City, where tens of thousands died during the first wave of the pandemic, infection rates are rising, too. (Pfizer said it was to meet Monday with U.S. officials to discuss a booster version of its vaccine). In Europe, Greece is mandating shots for those who work in senior citizen homes, healthcare and the military. But in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to end all precautions just as infections there are spiking. Here’s the latest on the pandemic. David E. Rovella

Bloomberg is tracking the progress of coronavirus vaccines while mapping the pandemic worldwide

Here are today’s top stories  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe will do everything in its power to ensure that gas supplies continue to flow through Ukraine even after the construction of the disputed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Germany and Russia. The promise was a warning to President Vladimir Putin not to use the pipeline as a political weapon three days before she holds talks with U.S. President Joe Biden, who has criticized the project.

California and other parts of the western U.S. will face more punishing temperatures this week, stressing electrical grids that are already facing the prospect of rotating blackouts because of a raging wildfire knocking out power lines.

The Beckwourth Complex Fire in California on July 9. Photographer: Ty ONeil/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Virgin Galactic Holdings filed to sell as much as $500 million in shares following this weekend’s rocket-powered test flight by founder Richard Branson, a spectacle that won Wall Street praise as a “marketing coup.” But then the stock, like the billionaire, came back to Earth.

U.S. equities registered more all-time highs as investors await second-quarter earnings, starting this week, to gauge whether corporate profits actually support equity valuations. Treasury yields edged slightly higher as the U.S. sold debt. Here’s your markets wrap.

It’s possible the wood bubble has popped. Recently among the world’s best-performing pandemic commodities, lumber has officially wiped out its staggering gains for the year. The wood rally had turned a common building product into a social media sensation—and a flashpoint in the debate over U.S. monetary policy.  

Investors on the hunt for promising brands sold on Amazon are sparking bidding wars as competition intensifies to find the next hit product

What do Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and BTS, the band with some of the best-selling K-pop albums of all time, have in common? A man by the name of Bang Si-hyuk, the founder of the agency behind these megastars. He’s worth about $3.2 billion.

Bang Si-hyuk  Photographer: Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg

What you’ll need to know tomorrow 

Future Skies Filled With Swarms of Metal Bees

Endless encounters with swarms of bees. This is the noisy scenario that awaits us as drones and eventually vertical take-off and landing passenger vehicles fill future skies. While the technology behind these machines has improved tremendously, the fact remains these aircraft make a lot of noise. If a drone has ruined your peaceful day at the beach, imagine your nerves with a traffic jam of flying taxis overhead. Now a startup called Whisper Aero thinks it may have the key to a quieter solution.

Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

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