Wednesday saw Microsoft’s stock market valuation surpass the $3 trillion barrier for the first time, keeping it close behind Apple as the most valuable business in the world.
Since the beginning of the year, Microsoft and Apple shares have been competing to be the most capitalized stock on Wall Street; earlier in January, the software giant briefly overthrew the iPhone manufacturer in this regard.
At $405.63, up 1.7%, Microsoft’s shares set a record and helped the company cross the $3 trillion market capitalization threshold. However, it ultimately closed at $402.56, meaning Microsoft’s valuation was $2.99 trillion, barely above the $3 trillion mark at $403.65.
According to LSEG data, Apple’s shares erased previous advances and finished down 0.35% at $194.50, giving it a $3 trillion market worth.
Microsoft is viewed as a leader in the competition for market supremacy in the implementation of generative artificial intelligence (AI), outpacing other major players in the tech industry such as Alphabet, the parent company of Google, Amazon.com, Oracle, and Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, thanks to its investment in ChatGPT developer OpenAI.
Microsoft has released updated versions of its popular productivity software products and its Bing search engine, which is anticipated to more effectively rival Google’s market-dominating search service, using OpenAI’s technology.
In contrast, Apple is seeing a decline in the market for its iPhones, especially in China, where it is boosting sales by providing customers with infrequent discounts in the face of fierce competition from domestic rivals like Huawei Technologies.
Stifel analyst Brad Reback stated, “I think it’s AI optimism for Microsoft,” noting that Apple doesn’t appear to have the same “clear AI story” and raising doubts about the penetration and growth rates of iPhone sales.
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