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Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

At about $11 trillion, the combined market value of the six most valuable American companies is now more than a quarter of the entire value of the S&P 500.

Why it matters: The stock price of most of these companies has roughly doubled in the past two years, pointing to the undeniable leverage they've had during the pandemic, as so many U.S. businesses shifted to digital operations.

  • These companies' gains accelerated in the past year, as the pandemic's initial shock receded and businesses like e-commerce, gaming, cloud storage and digital advertising exploded.

The big picture: Alphabet becomes the third U.S. company to surpass a $2 trillion market cap, following Apple in 2020 and Microsoft earlier this year. Amazon is closing in, too.

Yes, but: Market capitalization is a metric that's built on market sentiment as much as business fundamentals, and can be vulnerable to big swings.

What to watch: Facebook, now called Meta, joined the $1 trillion club over the summer, but has since seen its value drop below the $1 trillion mark in response to changes to Apple's privacy policies and its recent coverage of a whistleblower's leaked reports documenting harms to users.

Go deeper

UN report: Pandemic set to cost global tourism $2 trillion in 2021

A tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Nov. 25. Photo:Chesnot/Getty Images

A new United Nations report warns that global tourism will see only modest revenue gains in 2021 after last year's historic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Tourism revenues in 2020 fell by more than half from the previous year — a significant blow to the global economy, according to an analysis by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The everything shipper

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is inching closer to being able to send you everything, from any store.

Driving the news: The company’s CEO of worldwide consumer business, Dave Clark, told CNBC this week that Amazon will “probably be the largest package delivery carrier in the U.S.” by early 2022 if not the end of this year.

Updated 44 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.