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Apple nears $3 trillion valuation

Apple approached the elusive $3 trillion valuation mark on Wednesday, benefiting from positive sentiment surrounding tech stocks and optimism about artificial intelligence. However, the stock couldn’t sustain the rise and closed at $189.25, putting its market value at $2.98 trillion.

As the end of the June quarter and half-year approached, some analysts speculated about a potential push to surpass the $3 trillion milestone by the reporting period’s end on Friday. Apple shares were up in premarket trading ahead of Thursday’s session.

In 2023, Apple shares have climbed 46%, although other tech giants like Tesla, Meta Platforms, Nvidia, and Microsoft have seen their share prices more than double or make significant gains this year.

Apple first crossed the $2 trillion threshold in August 2020, amid the midst of the pandemic. The rise in share value throughout 2023 provides context for the remarkable surge in the company’s market capitalisation.

Despite Apple’s stock price surge, its largest investor, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has not experienced the same level of growth. Berkshire’s shares have only risen 8.4% in 2023, falling short of the S&P 500’s 14.7% increase and reversing the early outperformance witnessed earlier this year. In contrast, the Nasdaq has soared over 30% year-to-date.

In other news, Berkshire Hathaway recently disclosed its additional investment in Occidental Petroleum, spending $275 million to increase its stake. Between May 25 and May 30, Berkshire acquired 4.66 million shares at an average price of approximately $58.57 per share. Occidental Petroleum’s stock fell 1.4% on Wednesday, closing at $57.79.

Following these purchases, Berkshire’s total stake in Occidental amounts to around 222 million shares, equivalent to roughly 25% of the oil group. Additionally, Berkshire owns nearly $10 billion of the company’s preferred stock and holds warrants granting the right to purchase $5 billion worth of stock at a fixed price.