“Apple Inc., already the world’s largest company by market capitalization, [yesterday] hit a record intraday value: $700 billion,” Tim Higgins, Joseph Ciolli and Callie Bost report for Bloomberg. “Shares of Apple rose to as much as $119.75 at the start of trading in New York [yesterday], giving the company a valuation of more than $702 billion, a milestone that no other U.S. company has ever reached. The stock ended up falling less than 1 percent to $117.60 at the close in New York, putting its market capitalization at $690 billion. That still gave the iPhone maker about 1.7 times the value of the world’s second-biggest company, Exxon Mobil Corp. Exxon, which has lost about $43 billion during the five-month oil rout, has a capitalization of $401 billion.”

“Apple is up 47 percent this year, heading for its sixth straight annual gain. That would be its longest streak ever, topping a five-year rally from 2003 to 2007,” Higgins, Ciolli and Bost report. “Its market capitalization reached as high as $658 billion in September 2012, before a 44 percent plunge in the stock price over the next seven months.”

“Apple’s market cap has exceeded that of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) since May 2010. Microsoft now has a market capitalization of $391 billion,” Higgins, Ciolli and Bost report. “Apple’s value also moved above that of Google Inc. in January 2010. The operator of the world’s most popular search engine currently has a market cap of $370 billion.”

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