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Expand chart
Data: S&P Dow Jones Indices; Note: 2018 numbers are as of market close on Dec. 7; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The 4 biggest companies in the S&P 500 are tech companies, and even if you go back to the height of the dot-com bubble in 1999, you won't see this degree of tech dominance in the index.

Why it matters: The companies that have become central to our lives and our politics are now also central to our markets.

Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet are the biggest companies in the S&P 500. Add in Facebook (No. 6 on the list, right behind Berkshire Hathaway), and the 5 tech giants — just 1% of the companies in the index — account for 14.7% of its total capitalization.

  • Information technology (like Apple and Microsoft) and communication services (such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix) are the S&P's tech-heavy sectors, and they make up 40% of the S&P.

Yes, but: Tech dominance waxes and wanes. In 1985, IBM was by far the biggest company in America, responsible for over 6% of the S&P 500 on its own. By 1992, there were no tech companies in the top 10 at all.

  • Today, the S&P is not beholden to single company risk. No single company makes up more than 4% of the S&P — and hasn't since Exxon in 2008.
  • Instead, the "bigness" is spread across a small group of tech companies, nearly all of which face threats of regulation.

The bottom line: The S&P is not particularly concentrated now; the top 10 companies always account for about 20% of the total capitalization. What's new is the degree to which tech companies rule the S&P 500. If history is any guide, that dominance won't last very long.

Go deeper

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

3 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.