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Expand chart
Data: Wells Fargo Investment Institute; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Non-financial S&P 500 companies with the least cash are piling on the biggest loads of debt.

By the numbers: More than half of the S&P 500's total cash is held within just 25 companies — or the top 5% — while the bottom 95% of companies hold 73% of the index's debt, according to the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

  • The most "cash-poor" S&P 500 companies collectively have a cash-to-debt ratio of 18% — the lowest since the financial crisis. In other words, there's 18 cents of cash for every dollar of these companies' total debt.
  • Alternatively, the cash-to-debt ratio at the top 25 cash-rich companies is 61%.

What to watch: Corporate debt-loads haven't hit financial crisis levels but analysts at Wells Fargo write, "leverage is rising, and debt burdens may become too large for some companies as this economic cycle extends."

Go deeper: Keep an eye on corporate debt

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State Departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10 percent of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.