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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are all slated to report earnings after the markets close today, and that should give us a much better sense of how the tech industry is faring through the pandemic.

Why it matters: The reports should offer a clue of how sustainable tech's "new normal" is. That's especially important given that experts predict another and stronger wave of coronavirus in the U.S. that could force continued reliance on remote work for office employees.

The big picture: There is obviously much more to the economy, and even the digital economy, than these four companies. But their fortunes will reveal the degree to which tech companies can continue to enjoy success even with key industries like travel and entertainment still largely shut down.

  • We've already seen strong results from Microsoft, eBay and others, so there is reason to expect strength from other big tech firms.

What to watch:

  • Google (Alphabet): Last quarter Google reported the first quarter of declining revenue since the company went public. The question for this quarter is whether the ad spending pullback has leveled off or intensified, as well as what the search giant expects for the current quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season.
  • Apple: Of course, plenty of attention will be paid to the number of iPhones sold last quarter, but those sales were before the iPhone 12 launched, so more interesting will be what Apple forecasts for the current quarter. Expect the company to continue to talk up its growing services business as well.
  • Facebook: The social network is expected to show a 12% increase in revenue from a year ago — to nearly $20 billion — but profits are seen down 10%.
  • Amazon: The retailer, which has become even more vital to many Americans during the pandemic, posted a blowout quarter three months ago. The question now is, can it do the same once again?

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.

25 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.