Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

What's worth more — a company that sells $250 billion of stuff every year at a profit margin of 22%, or a company that sells $200 billion of stuff every year at a profit margin of 3%?

The answer: It's surprisingly close. Both Apple and Amazon now have a stock-market valuation of $1 trillion. The Apple valuation makes a lot of sense: If anything, the iPhone maker is undervalued by the standards of the stock market as a whole. But Amazon is another story entirely: each dollar of profit it makes is valued by the market at an eye-popping $208.

The bottom line: It's almost impossible to justify a $1 trillion valuation if you're trying to get there the old-fashioned way, by looking at the present value of future cashflows. And it's certainly impossible to justify it by looking at Amazon's takeover value, since no one on earth is big enough to buy it.

What's next? The $1 trillion milestone is a real one, and now that Amazon has broken it, the sky's the limit for its stock, which Morgan Stanley sees rising another 25% to $2,500 per share. In today's winner-takes-all economy, big companies can grow faster than startups, and valuations are merely psychological obstacles on the road to ever-higher share prices. Never mind the cashflows, just look at all the wealth being created.

Go deeper

Election clues county by county

Ipsos and the University of Virginia's Center for Politics are out with an interactive U.S. map that goes down to the county level to track changes in public sentiment that could decide the presidential election.

How it works: The 2020 Political Atlas tracks President Trump's approval ratings, interest around the coronavirus, what's dominating social media and other measures, with polling updated daily — enhancing UVA's "Crystal Ball."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,605,656 — Total deaths: 970,934 Total recoveries: 21,747,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,897,432 — Total deaths: 200,814 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

Trump pushes to expand ban against anti-racism training to federal contractors

Trump speaking at Moon Township, Penns., on Sept. 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

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