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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple is on track to become the first trillion dollar company in the world, with a $920 billion market cap and a cash pile of billions after $100 billion in expected stock buybacks.

The big picture: Warren Buffett thinks Apple is the best investment, including for Apple itself, and he recently upped his stake in the company to nearly 5%. Charles Munger, his business partner, backed him up, saying, "I think we've been a little too restrained ... I wish we owned more of it."

The competition: Right behind Apple are Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent company — all of which have market caps of over three quarters of a trillion dollars.

  • "Apple can reach the [trillion dollar market cap] milestone before the end of this week if last week’s momentum persists," Bloomberg's Elena Popina notes.

And, as tech rivalries intensify, there's a growing divide between old tech giants like Apple and Microsoft, which develop consumer products, and the new kids on the block — Facebook, Twitter, Snap and even Google — that rely on ad dollars.

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella alluded to that divide in an interview with The Verge, saying, "you’ve got to recognize that privacy is a human right and that you need to treat it as such."
  • And Apple's Tim Cook did the same, saying, "We're not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty."

Yes, but: Apple (iPhone slowdowns and falling victim to Intel's chip vulnerability) and Amazon (sheer size and rapid growth that draw attention from antitrust watchers) are not immune to the Big Tech backlash, Axios' Kim Hart notes.

Be smart: Apple's stock surge — coming off rave reviews from Buffett — could propel it to the one trillion mark by the end of the week, but its stock price has rallied to all-time highs before, only to come back down to Earth.

  • And Apple may be dealing with a saturated smartphone market, and it's not yet clear what the tech giant will do to move beyond the iPhone.

Go deeper

Rep. Lamborn may have misused official resources, ethics panel alleges

Rep. Doug Lamborn departs from a news conference held by the House Republican Israel Caucus on May 19, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Congressional ethics investigators said Monday there is "substantial reason" to believe that Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) misused official resources and solicited or accepted improper gifts from subordinates.

Driving the news: Lamborn's aides told investigators they were often asked to run personal errands for his wife, Jeanie Lamborn, and were at one point tasked with helping his son apply for a federal position, according to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). Lamborn strongly denies the allegations.

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

Driving the news: The Biden administration has faced rising inflation rates over recent months, which it has labeled as "transitory."

Hope King, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors reset their compass

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The endpoints of a stimulus-fueled market are being defined.

Why it matters: Conditions that drove excess pricing in riskier assets are steadily being removed, and big swings in the market like those seen today are inevitable as investors try to adjust to the new landscape.