Apple’s share price crossed the $300 threshold for the first time, as technology names continued to charge ahead on the heels of last year’s rally.
Shares in Apple closed 2.3 per cent higher to $300.35 on Thursday. The rise coincided with a broader advance on Wall Street on the first day of trading in 2020, following a move by the Chinese central bank to stimulate the country’s economy.
Apple’s advance also came as the company reached an agreement with former HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, who will produce video content for its new streaming service, Apple TV+.
Investors in the tech giant have recently enjoyed robust gains amid enthusiasm for Apple’s foray into streaming video subscriptions and fading concerns that iPhone demand was lagging. Apple was up 86 per cent last year, its best annual gain in a decade, after sliding more than 6 per cent in 2018. The S&P 500 rose about 29 per cent last year.
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said many investors had come to believe the “Apple growth story was over and in the rear view mirror”.
“Defying the sceptics, [chief executive Tim] Cook in his finest hour in our opinion led Apple to successfully battle through China growth struggles, settle its long standing lawsuit with Qualcomm . . ., develop and bring to market its trifecta of iPhone 11s which has been a major consumer success out of the gates, and most importantly play a game of poker with the tariff China black cloud that worked out in a Picasso-like fashion for Apple,” Mr Ives wrote in a recent note to clients.
Mr Ives also was upbeat on iPhone sales, adding that new 5G smartphones later this year will “open up the floodgates” for upgrades.
Apple remains the most valuable publicly traded company in the US with a market capitalisation of $1.33tn, ahead of Microsoft’s $1.23tn.
Apple’s stock hit $200 for the first time in August 2018, and shares have soared nearly ten-fold since 2009.