Apple is Wall Street's all-time MVP—that's Most Valuable Property. Today, Apple's surging stock propelled the company's value to $624 billion, the world's highest, ever. It beat the record for market capitalization set by Microsoft Corp in the heady days of the Internet boom. After a four-month dip, Apple's stock has hit new highs recently because of optimism around what is believed to be the impending launch of the iPhone 5, and possibly a smaller, cheaper iPad.
Apple Inc has been the world's most valuable company since the end of last year. It's now worth 54% more than No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp. Apple's stock closed at $665.15. That was an all-time high, up $17.04, or 2.6%, from Friday's close. Microsoft's 1999 peak was $620.58 billion, according to Standard & Poor's. The comparison to Microsoft does not take inflation into account. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the software giant was worth about $850 billion on Dec. 30, 1999. Microsoft is now worth $257 billion.