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Apple has exceeded a $3 trillion market valuation, in a historic milestone for the world's most valuable company.
Shares of Apple rose more than 1 percent at the opening bell on Friday, to $191.78, after Citigroup initiated coverage on the stock with a 'buy' rating.
The tech giant's shares would need to close at or above $190.74 to officially cement a $3 trillion market cap, a measure of valuation that totals the price of all a company's outstanding shares.
Although Apple briefly touched a $3 trillion valuation in intra-day trading early last year, the company's shares have never achieved that valuation on a closing basis, a milestone the company appeared poised to hit on Friday.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen above. Apple has exceeded a $3 trillion market valuation, in a historic milestone for the world's most valuable company
The tech giant's shares would need to close at or above $190.74 to officially cement a $3 trillion market cap, a measure of valuation that totals the price of all a company's shares
Apple originally became the first company to cross the $3 trillion valuation threshold in January 2022, when share prices briefly edged above $182 in intra-day trading.
Since then, Apple has conducted major stock buybacks, meaning that there are fewer shares on the market, and a higher stock price is required to hit the same overall valuation.
Apple has announced $180 billion in stock buybacks since May 2022, a move investors typically laud because it decreases the number of shares on the market, increasing the value of those that remain.
Because Apple does not report stock buybacks on a daily basis, estimating the company's market cap is something of an inexact science, since the precise number of outstanding shares it not always clear.
What is clear: Apple is already the most valuable company in the world, by a significant margin.
Apple is followed by Microsoft ($2.5 trillion), Saudi Aramco ($2.08 trillion) and Google-parent Alphabet ($1.52 trillion), according to ranking site Companies By Market Cap.
However, the most valuable public company in history remains the Dutch East India Company, which hit a valuation of roughly $9 trillion, at today's prices, during the Tulip Mania of the 1630s.
Apple's stock has risen relentlessly in 2023 as part of a tech-stock rally that helped push Wall Street back into bull market territory this year.
Shares of Apple have gained steadily this year, rising more than 50 percent since the start of January amid a broad rally for tech megacaps
Tech megacap stocks have generally performed well this year, thanks to surging investor interest in artificial intelligence, as well as signals that the US Federal Reserve is nearly done hiking interest rates.
Generative AI has become the tech world's biggest buzzword ever since Microsoft-backed OpenAI released ChatGPT late last year, revealing the capabilities of the emerging technology.
However, Apple has mostly resisted the hype, and made no mention of AI when it recently unveiled its latest slate of new products, including its Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
Apple officially debuted Vision Pro on June 5, and described it as the first Apple product 'you look out of and not at.'
The headset lets users merge the real world with a digital one navigated by their eyes, voice and hands - with no controllers needed.
Vision Pro has a single, thick band on the back of the head, connecting a large, sleek screen that sits over the eyes.
Apple officially debuted Vision Pro on June 5 -- though news of the expensive VR headset did not have much of an impact on the company's share price