Traders were thrilled to see Apple stocks top the $600 threshold in early US trading for the first time. The consumer electronics giant confirmed its role as the most valuable company on the market.
Stocks of the US consumer electronics company Apple on Thursday touched the $600 (460 euros) barrier for the first time. The price per stock in early Wall Street trading reached $600.01 then fell to $593.34 after the first half-hour of trading in New York.
Apple as the world's most valuable firm now has a market capitalization of almost $555 billion, topping the $500 billion mark in late February.
The California-based company has seen its stock value jump by 57 percent within just three months, predominantly due to the sale of its tablet computers.
Apple sold 15.4 million iPad 2 units in the most recent fiscal quarter, and Thursday's stock value boost came amid the start of sales of the company's updated iPad, which will not have a new name.
Sales started in Australia and will expand to 12 other countries on Friday, including Germany then continue in 25 more countries next week.
Industry experts believe Apple could sell 1 million of its new iPads on Friday alone. The company has already stopped accepting advance orders and added that customers should brace themselves for a several-week wait for purchases made through its online store.
The upgraded tablet comes with a higher-resolution screen and a faster processing chip, which makes the new model slightly thicker and heavier than its predecessor. The price range is not going to change, Apple said, with the cheapest version starting at $499. Cellular network-enabled versions will cost from $629 to $829 each.
hg/sms (Reuters, AP, AFP)