We’ve mentioned that the U.S. tech giants have been driving most of the returns of the domestic stock markets. But now we have evidence that they are so globally dominant that they are powering the equity returns of the whole world. While China has fallen out of favor with investors, the U.S. worldwide lead widens.
Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong companies have shed the equivalent of $1.7 trillion in value since the end of 2023, QUICK FactSet data shows.
China’s share of global market capitalization in dollar terms has dropped to around 10%, roughly half the peak of nearly 20% reached in 2015 when investors anticipated faster economic growth.
The U.S. total has risen $1.4 trillion over the same period to $51 trillion, putting the country’s share at 48.1%, the largest since September 2003. The gap between the U.S. and China has widened to the largest on record in data going back to 2001.
This divergence largely reflects the differing fortunes of their biggest tech companies. Amazon and Facebook parent Meta together have gained $510 billion in market cap since the end of last year, lifted by strong quarterly earnings announced last week. Meanwhile, Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding and gaming and social media group Tencent Holdings lost a combined $31 billion in value over the same period.
Nine of the world’s 10 most valuable companies are now American, with Saudi Aramco the sole exception.
Remarkably, the Biden Administration has current or pending antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta. The remarkable success of these companies has been in spite of the Biden Administration’s best efforts to “Break up big tech,” which would play right into the hands of our rivals.