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Apple becomes first US-listed trillion-dollar company

The tech company’s stock jumped 2.8 percent to as high as $207.05, bringing its gain to about 9 percent since Tuesday (July 31) when it reported June-quarter results above expectations and said it bought back $20 billion of its own shares.

Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple has pushed its revenue beyond the economic outputs of Portugal, New Zealand and other countries. Along the way, it has changed how consumers connect with one another and how businesses conduct daily commerce.

Apple’s stock market value is greater than the combined capitalization of Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble and AT&T. It now accounts for 4 percent of the S&P 500.

One of three founders, Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy.

He launched the iPhone in 2007, dropping “Computer” from Apple’s name and super-charging the cellphone industry, catching Microsoft Corp, Intel Corp, Samsung Electronics and Nokia off guard. That put Apple on a path to overtake Exxon Mobil in 2011 as the largest U.S. company by market value.

New Yorker Donna Fenn bought shares in the 1980s on the recommendation of a stockbroker a good friend of hers was dating. She’d heard of the company because its co-founder Steve Jobs had appeared on the cover of the magazine she worked for.

At the end of 1985, not long after Fenn, now 59, made her investment, shares of Apple were trading at the equivalent of 39 cents each, adjusting for subsequent stock splits. Little could she imagine that the value of Apple shares bought then would climb more than 50,000 percent.

“I loved watching it go up and up and up. And I don’t…it’s not that it makes me feel rich, it just kind of makes me feel like, jeez, I wonder if I could be one of those like 85-year-old ladies who says, ‘I bought Apple stock when I was 25-years-old, and I still have it. Now I can put my grandchildren through college’,” she told.

One of five U.S. companies since the 1980s to take a turn as Wall Street’s largest company by market capitalization, Apple could lose its lead to the likes of Alphabet Inc or Amazon.com Inc if it does not find a major new product or service as demand for smartphones loses steam.