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!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

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!

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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Investors are struggling to time 2021's magic stock market

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market's sell signals keep mounting but the prices keep rising, leaving investors wondering just what comes next.

What's happening: Signs of euphoria abound, suggesting the market is getting overheated — a classic sell sign. But in a market underpinned by the Federal Reserve's limitless money printer, dip buyers have continued to step in and markets are piling on risk.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Business sentiment and prices keep rising

Data: IHS-Markit; Chart: Axios

Both manufacturing and services businesses saw strong pickups in activity and owners' sentiment improved, according to the latest flash reading of the IHS-Markit composite purchasing managers index.

Why it matters: The index that combines the two readings touched a record high 62.2 in April.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 26, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Taking stock of Big Oil's pandemic recovery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week will show how some of the biggest oil-and-gas companies are recovering from the pandemic that's still weighing on demand for their products.

Driving the news: Companies including BP, Shell, Chevron and Exxon will report first-quarter earnings over the next four days.