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Photo: Elizabeth Robertson / The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, notched 61 record highs and climbed about 21.3% in the first year since Trump was elected president, AP's Alex Veiga writes. But what's really interesting is the reason — and it's not just tax-cut expectations.

Be smart: "[T]he biggest driver of the market's gains has been strong corporate profits, Wall Street analysts say.""[M]ore companies than usual are ... reporting higher [earnings and] revenue than analysts had forecast.""Stock prices tend to track corporate profits over the long term, so the better-than-expected earnings growth helps to validate the stock market's record-setting run, at least somewhat.""Investors have also continued to bet big on economic growth in the U.S. and worldwide as economies in Europe and Asia have bounced back.""Since Trump's election, technology companies have led the way with a 39% surge. Banks and industrial and basic materials companies have also soared. Only phone company stocks are down from a year ago."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

4 hours ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more, commission warns

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few years' lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.