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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big tech has been the biggest corporate winner of the Trump presidency, according to an Axios analysis of public-company corporate financials.

Why it matters: The tech giants have spent the past four years facing increased scrutiny from Washington, and Google has even been hit by an antitrust lawsuit. But Google parent Alphabet has seen its profits soar by $12 billion per year since Trump's surprise election in November 2016.

  • That's second only to Apple, whose profits have risen by $13 billion.

How it works: The overarching economic story of the past four years has been the Fed, which cut interest rates to zero and has promised to keep them there indefinitely. The central bank has had much more effect on corporate results than all of Trump's trade wars and campaign promises.

  • Low interest rates make growth companies more valuable, since large future profits are worth more money today.
  • Apple and Amazon both gained more than $1 trillion in market value under Trump. The next biggest gainers are also fast-growing technology stocks: Alphabet, up $500 billion, and Tesla, up more than $300 billion.

The biggest losers are in old-fashioned manufacturing. General Electric and Boeing have both lost $35 billion per year in revenue, while Ford, still in the midst of a drawn-out restructuring effort, is down $20 billion.

  • GE is also one of the biggest losers in terms of market capitalization, along with ExxonMobil and scandal-hit Wells Fargo. All three lost about $200 billion in value even as the broader stock market was soaring.

When it comes to jobs, the fastest-growing employer is again Amazon, which added some 450,000 employees under Trump. But that measure can be deceiving, as companies can decide to move employees on or off their official payroll more or less at will.

  • McDonald's officially lost 170,000 employees over the past four years, for instance, but that's not because fewer people work at its restaurants. It's because the company made a strategic decision at the end of 2015 to slash the proportion of restaurants it runs itself from 19% to 7%.

The bottom line: Both the Fed and the coronavirus have had much more impact on the list of winners and losers than any decisions made in the White House.

  • Trump has been broadly good for corporate America, and healthcare companies in particular have done well under his administration. But fears of Trump picking individual winners and losers have proved largely unfounded.
  • The winners that Trump did try to pick — the coal industry, for example — have often underperformed.

Go deeper

McConnell circulates revised GOP coronavirus stimulus plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with reporters today in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a new framework for coronavirus stimulus legislation to Republican members on Tuesday that would establish a fresh round of funding for the small-business Paycheck Protection Program and implement widespread liability protections, according to a copy of the draft proposal obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The revised GOP relief plan comes after McConnell's meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, during which they went over in detail what provisions would get backing from President Trump.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Faces of COVID creator on telling the stories of those we've lost

America yesterday lost 2,762 people to COVID-19, per the CDC, bringing the total pandemic toll to 272,525. That's more than the population of Des Moines, Iowa. Or Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or Toledo, Ohio.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Alex Goldstein, creator of the @FacesofCOVID Twitter account, about sharing the stories behind the statistics.