Big Week Lifts Apple to Dow’s Top-Performing Stock

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Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) went on a tear in the past week. The world’s most valuable publicly traded company added 5.3% to its stock price last week and posted new all-time highs on four consecutive days. For the year to date, Apple stock has risen by 34.5%.

The second-best performer among the Dow index equities so far this year is Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), which is up 31.4%. That is followed by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up 31.3%, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), up 28.8%, and Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), up 24.7%. Of the 30 Dow Jones industrials stocks, 16 have managed to post a gain to date in 2018.

The blue-chip index added 265 points last week to close at 25,964.82, up about 1% compared to the previous Friday’s close. For the first two months of the calendar quarter, the Dow is up 7.4%, better than the S&P 500 (up 6.9%) but behind the Nasdaq Composite (up 8.1%). For the year to date, the index is up 4.6%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 7.6%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 15.7%).

Maybe the biggest Apple news of the week was the accidental release of a photograph of the new iPhones that the company will launch on September 12. Check out this deconstruction by Loup Ventures analysts Gene Munster and Andrew Murphy of the press invitations Apple sent out announcing the event.

Reports came out Friday of a crash involving one of Apple’s self-driving cars. The vehicle was apparently rear-ended while merging onto the expressway near Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. The vehicle involved was a Lexus RX 450h, according to a report from Reuters, and the crash occurred on August 24. The Apple/Lexus vehicle was traveling about 1 mph when it was hit by a Nissan Leaf traveling at about 15 mph. There were no injuries.

Finally, S&P and MSCI have announced that they will be shuffling the stocks that make up the global industry classification system (GICS), reconstituting the sectors. S&P’s changes take effect after markets close on September 28 and the MSCI changes will go into effect on December 3, according to Barron’s.

Apple stays in the tech sector, but Amazon is being reassigned to the consumer discretionary sector, and both Facebook and Alphabet are being added to a new communications services sector that is replacing the old telecom sector. Apple’s influence in the tech sector is very likely to increase as a result of these changes.

Shares closed Friday at $227.63 after posting a new 52-week high of $228.87 earlier in the day. The stock’s 52-week low is $149.16, and the consensus price target is $216.99. Apple’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is 16.79. Apple’s market cap has reached $1.099 trillion.

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