Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Concerns about higher taxes and inflation pushed the S&P 500 to its first weekly loss since mid-March last week, but Monday began where that week ended with stocks moving higher.

What's happening: While traders are largely looking past inflation worries, even after last week's IHS-Markit purchasing managers index showed yet another record high reading for prices, company executives are not.

  • More S&P 500 companies (47) have cited the term “inflation” on their earnings calls for Q1 2021 through this point in time than during any quarter in more than 10 years, data from FactSet show.

On the other side: Earnings have been even better than expected so far, but reactions have been fairly muted. More than three-quarters of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have beaten analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, yet the S&P gained just 0.2% while the Dow closed 0.2% lower.

  • S&P 500 companies are on track to report a net profit margin of 11.6% for Q1, which would be the third-highest net profit margin reported by the index since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008, trailing only Q3 2018 (12.0%) and Q2 2018 (11.7%).

What to watch: Investors also are awaiting earnings from Amazon, Facebook and Apple due later this week, though Tesla's stock fell after reporting stronger-than-expected numbers in its report after the bell on Monday.

  • "We’re gearing up for a busy week on all fronts," Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing product at E-Trade Financial, told Bloomberg.
  • "Big tech earnings, a look into Q1 GDP, and the Fed meeting could create catalysts for market moves. Though despite the strong earnings reports we’ve seen thus far, the market is really taking beats in stride amid already high valuations."

Asset managers continue to warn that stock valuations look worryingly high, but as I wrote yesterday, so far in 2021 the biggest risk to equity investors' returns has been selling.

  • The S&P's forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio currently sits at 22.3, well above its 5-year average (17.9) and its 10-year average (16.0), again approaching highs last seen during the dot-com bubble.

What's next: Today the Fed begins its two-day policy meeting and the market largely expects chair Jerome Powell to double down on his doublespeak that the economy is improving but still requires 0% interest rates and $120 billion a month of bond-buying assistance.

  • However, investors will be watching for any sign that the central bank could start to reduce, or taper, the program sooner than expected.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 4, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Big Oil has big problems despite rising profits

The just-concluded Big Oil earnings season highlighted two things at once: The sector's on far more solid footing than last year, but still faces big headwinds.

Driving the news: BP's stock rose 7% Tuesday after it reported a $2.8 billion Q2 profit after losing $6.7 billion that period last year, and announced higher dividends and new share buybacks.

Uber beats Q2 expectations and turns a rare profit

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber posted an unexpected profit for the second quarter, and beat analyst expectations with revenue of $3.9 billion and earnings per share of $0.58.

Why it matters: Uber benefited from unrealized gains of $1.4 billion and $471 million from its stakes in Didi and Aurora, respectively—just two of the ride-hailing company's portfolio of such investments.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Aug 4, 2021 - Economy & Business

The downside of Robinhood's upside

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

One definition of a meme stock: Any publicly listed company whose stock becomes a speculative vehicle beloved of retail investors armed with small-dollar Robinhood accounts. To no surprise, Robinhood itself has now become one of those stocks, just a few days after going public last week.

Why it matters: Robinhood is one of the most high-profile disruptive fintechs to have gone public. There's irony and symbolism to its stock price ceasing to be a reflection of corporate fundamentals and instead becoming a short-term gambling mechanism. But that transformation effectively removes an important valuation signal that investors might otherwise have found very helpful.