Apple becomes first US company to hit US$3 trillion market value

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NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Apple on Monday became the first United States company to hit US$3 trillion (S$4.06 trillion) in market capitalisation, thanks to investor confidence that the iPhone maker will keep launching best-selling products as it explores new markets such as automated cars and the metaverse.

On the first day of trading in 2022, the company's shares hit a record of US$182.88 in mid-day trading.

The world's most valuable company is the first to reach the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out top dollar for iPhones, MacBooks and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.

"The linchpin to Apple's valuation re-rating remains its services business, which we believe is worth US$1.5 trillion in the eyes of (Wall Street)," Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said. "Being the first company to join the US$3 trillion club is a 'flex-the-muscles moment' for (chief executive Tim) Cook and company."

Apple shared the US$2 trillion market value club with Microsoft, which is now worth about US$2.53 trillion. Alphabet and Amazon have market values above US$1 trillion.

The rapid embrace of technologies such as 5G, augmented reality/virtual reality and artificial intelligence has also helped these stocks become market darlings as investors moved towards cash-rich companies and away from businesses that have been more sensitive to economic growth.

Apple's quick adoption of 5G, a technology that has broad implications in the future, provided a big boost. It recently launched iPhone 13 in its second wave of phones with 5G technology.

In China, one of Apple's biggest markets, it continued to lead the smartphone market for the second straight month, beating rivals such as Vivo and Xiaomi, recent data from CounterPoint Research showed.

Apple's shares were last up 2.5 per cent at US$182.09. Meanwhile, the broader market was set to extend a recovery from the pandemic shock, led by Tesla and followed by Apple and Nvidia.

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