Just two years after Apple became the first publicly listed US company with a US$1 trillion stock market value, the iPhone maker has now topped US$2 trillion. The Cupertino, California-based company's shares briefly rose to as high as US$468.65 on Wednesday, equivalent to a market capitalization of US$2.004 trillion.
The stock was last up 1.2% at US$467.62, giving Apple a market capitalization of US$1.999 trillion.
Buoyed by bets on the long-term success of the country's biggest tech names in a post-coronavirus world, Apple's shares have surged since blowout quarterly results in July that saw the iPhone maker eclipse Saudi Aramco as the world's most valuable listed company. Apple's stock is up about 57% so far in 2020.
The rally reflects growing investor confidence in Apple's shift toward relying less on sales of iPhones and more on services for its users, including video, music and games.
The ascendancy of Apple and other tech giants has prompted increased oversight from regulators and lawmakers, including on Capitol Hill, where Cook and the CEOs from Amazon, Facebook and Google all were grilled at a high-profile July 29 hearing.
Simply put, they have too much power, said Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who chairs the panel that convened the hearing. During the session, Cook faced tough questioning over the market power of the company's App Store and its treatment of developers.
Analysts expect more scrutiny ahead for Apple and the other giants, but it isn't clear yet whether the questioning will lead to meaningful change.
Some analysts believe efforts to break up tech giants or otherwise reign them in could gain momentum if Democrats sweep the 2020 elections.
Another wildcard for Apple involves risks from heightened tensions between the United States and China, since Apple not only manufactures iPhones and other products there, but also relies on that market for a large chunk of sales, said Avi Greengart, analyst with the consultancy Techsponential.
US President Donald Trump has been ratcheting up pressure on Beijing through restrictions on leading Chinese tech firms. Any retaliation against Washington by China could cause troubles for Apple, analysts say.
Apple now accounts for close to 7% of the S&P 500's total market value. Its market capitalization is about equal to the combined values of the S&P 500's 200 smallest companies.
Shares in Apple have roughly doubled from March lows, an astonishing performance which has lifted chief executive Tim Cook's net worth to US$ 1 billion for the first time, according to a Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculation.
However, Apple's recent stock rally has left it potentially overvalued, according to a widely used metric. The stock is trading at over 30 times analysts' expected earnings, its highest level in more than a decade, according to Refinitiv.
Microsoft and Amazon follow Apple as the most valuable publicly traded US companies, each at about US$1.6 trillion. They are followed by Google-owner Alphabet, at just over US$1 trillion.
Apple's revenue grew across every category and all of its geographical regions in the June quarter, even as the coronavirus crisis caused the US economy to contract at its worst rate since the Great Depression.
Apple surprised Wall Street as it was able to get loyal shoppers to buy iPhones, iPads and Macs online even as several brick-and-mortar stores remained closed due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
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