Show an ad over header. AMP

Trump's biggest corporate winners and losers

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.

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

Keep reading... Show less

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

Keep reading... Show less

President of Soros foundation leaves amid speculation of potential Biden role

Patrick Gaspard, who served as ambassador to South Africa under President Barack Obama, is stepping down as president of George Soros' Open Society Foundations, fueling speculation that he'll join the Biden administration, potentially as Labor secretary.

What to know: Before his stint as ambassador, Gaspard was Obama's political director in the White House, drawing upon his experience in the labor movement to advance Obama's legislative agenda on health care and financial services reform.

Keep reading... Show less

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.

Keep reading... Show less

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Keep reading... Show less

Over 13 million people are receiving pandemic unemployment assistance expiring on Dec. 26

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Keep reading... Show less

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as rate of recovery slows

Axios Visuals. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories