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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.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."