Apple tops Microsoft, regains title of world's most valuable company

Apple regains title of world's most valuable company during Wednesday's trading session

Apple reclaimed the title of the world's most valuable company from tech rival Microsoft during Wednesday's trading session, after the iPhone-maker unveiled new artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives this week.

Apple stock rose by 5% to about $217.50 a share as of early Wednesday afternoon after its market valuation rose above $3.29 trillion earlier in the day's trading session. 

By comparison, Microsoft's market capitalization was $3.24 trillion, putting it behind Apple for the first time in five months.

This comes after Apple shares gained more than 7% on Tuesday, just one day after it unveiled a variety of new AI-enabled features for its devices.

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Apple logo

Apple regained the title of world's most valuable company from Microsoft during Wednesday's trading session. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

At Apple's annual developer conference on Monday, executives including CEO Tim Cook touted how AI will help voice assistant Siri better interact with messages, emails, calendars and third-party apps.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 230.54 +2.97 +1.31%

Market analysts praised the announcements, saying the new AI-enabled features will help drive iPhone sales and will boost the tech giant after it had been perceived as trailing behind its rivals in the AI race.

"All those questions about Apple lagging from an AI technology standpoint were answered at the Worldwide Developers Conference," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

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Apple WWDC

Attendees watch the keynote presentation during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, on Monday. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"Some of the specifics about AI capabilities that are going to be integrated into the upcoming iPhones made it very apparent that there will clearly be demand for a significant upgrade cycle," James added.

These developments come after Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, raced ahead of Apple in the AI space over the last year, which helped propel Microsoft's market cap above Apple's in recent months.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook is shown during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California, on Monday. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Among the so-called "Magnificent Seven" stocks, only Tesla has fared worse than Apple in 2024 so far, with the Elon Musk-led EV-maker seeing its stock slide by about 27%, compared to Apple's 17% gain.

Nvidia, the market leader in AI chips, briefly overtook Apple's market value last week and is up 161% year to date and has a $3.1 trillion market cap.

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Prior to this week's announcements, Apple had eased concerns about its stock performance by beating market expectations for its quarterly results and forecast in May, and also unveiled a record $110 billion stock buyback plan.

Reuters contributed to this report.