By Akash Sriram and Noel Randewich
Apple's stock climbed to a record high close on Wednesday and was on the cusp of a $3 trillion market capitalization.
The iPhone maker's stock rose 0.6% to end the day at $189.25, putting Apple's market value at $2.98 trillion, according to Refinitiv data. It was the second straight record high close for Apple's shares.
Apple has yet to end a trading session with a stock market value above $3 trillion. It briefly peaked above $3 trillion in intra-day trading on Jan. 3, 2022 before closing the session just below that mark.
The latest gains in shares of the world's most valuable company follow strong rebounds this year from several of Wall Street's technology-related heavyweights, fueled by bets that the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its campaign of U.S. interest rate hikes, and by optimism about the potential for artificial intelligence.
"There hasn't really been any new information fundamentally that would be supportive of the stock move," said Thomas Martin, Senior Portfolio Manager at Globalt Investments. "What you're left with is, you know, the market itself."
Apple has jumped 46% in 2023, while Nvidia has surged 185%, making it the first chipmaker with a stock market value over $1 trillion. Tesla and Meta Platforms have more than doubled this year, and Microsoft has added 40%.
Apple's approach toward its $3 trillion milestone follows the June 5 launch of a pricey augmented-reality headset, its riskiest bet since the introduction of the iPhone more than a decade ago.
As well, Apple's most recent quarterly report in May showed a drop in revenue and profits, but still beat analysts' expectations. Along with a steady track record of stock buybacks, those financial results reinforced its reputation among investors as a safe investment at a time of global economic uncertainty.
Recent gains in Apple's shares have outpaced analysts' estimates for the company's future earnings. The stock is now trading at about 29 times expected earnings, its highest multiple since February 2022, according to Refinitiv data.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by David Gregorio)