Apple remains the top dog in US stock markets $3tn valuation

Apple first became the most valuable US company in 2011

Apple’s market capitalisation topped $3 trillion (€2.8 billion) last week, regaining that threshold for the first time since August.

Apple made history in June when it became the world’s first $3 trillion company. It remains the only company to have done so, although Microsoft, valued at $2.75 trillion, isn’t too far behind.

Despite having gained more than 50 per cent this year, Apple shares have lagged all but one of the so-called magnificent seven mega-cap tech stocks in 2023 (Google parent Alphabet, which is up “only” 46 per cent, is in last place).

Not that shareholders will be complaining. The remarkable thing about Apple is the sheer longevity of its time at the top. Apple first became the most valuable US company in 2011, when it was valued at less than $340 billion.


Historically, the biggest companies have tended to underperform going forward – the winner’s curse, as it’s known – but not Apple. Since 2012, it has ended the year as the biggest US company on all but one occasion (Microsoft briefly took top spot in late 2018). This year looks unlikely to be any different.

Proinsias O'Mahony

Proinsias O'Mahony

Proinsias O’Mahony, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes the weekly Stocktake column