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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world’s biggest tech companies are about to open up their books — and some are expected to serve up record-shattering numbers.

Why it matters: The pandemic made many Americans even more dependent on these companies. That put a massive gust of wind — to the tune of billions of dollars — into the sails of Big Tech.

  • For now, forecasters see few signs of this fading.

Where it stands: Microsoft, reporting tomorrow, is estimated to have booked the highest revenue figure in its history, helped by its cloud and gaming businesses, per WSJ.

Also on tap this week:

  • Revenue at Alphabet is expected to outpace the company's first quarter record, helped by voracious internet advertising demand.
  • The signs of that hot ad market already showed up in Snap and Twitter's financial results — and Facebook is expected to reap the benefits too.
  • Amazon could log over $100 billion in sales (yes, in a single quarter) for the third time ever. That never happened before the pandemic.
  • Apple's sales are set to leap over what it posted this time last year.

The elephant in the room: Antitrust scrutiny has increased since the last time the companies released earnings, says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

  • Big Tech foe Lina Khan was sworn in as head of the Federal Trade Commission, and longtime Google critic Jonathan Kanter is set to lead the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.
  • Meanwhile, Congress is batting around a suite of antitrust bills.

But, but, but: None of these developments have made a dent in these companies' soaring stock prices.

  • "This is an elongated battle between the Beltway and Big Tech that is not slowing down," says Ives.

Stat to go: The five names alone are a record 22.9% of the S&P 500.

Go deeper

Tech founders have left the building

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Most of today's tech giants are no longer run by their founders, but by a new breed of successor CEOs tasked with holding true to a corporate mission while continuing to pump up growth.

The big picture: Silicon Valley has long embraced a "founders know best" philosophy. But eventually, most successful founders get old and tired and rich — and lose interest in the meetings, the management messes, and the sheer hard work of running a company.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate offices closing ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.

State Department partners with aid group welcoming Afghan refugees to U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14. Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday that the State Department is partnering with Welcome.US, an aid group helping to welcome and support Afghan refugees who fled their country for the U.S.

Why it matters: The partnership is part of the Biden administration's Operation Allies Welcome, which involves the processing and resettlement of the more than 65,000 Afghans evacuated during the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.