Apple Rises to Take Over as Top-Performing Dow Stock

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After three weeks as an also-ran, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) returns as the Dow Jones industrial average’s best-performing stock for the year to date. Even though the company’s shares lost about 0.6% last week, the world’s most valuable company has still managed to post a year-to-date share price gain of 32.5%.

The second-best performer among the Dow index equities so far this year is Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is up 31.08%. That is followed by Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), up 31.05%, then Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), up 28.1%, and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), up 27.5%. Of the 30 Dow stocks, 19 have managed either to post a gain or remain unchanged to date in 2018.

The blue-chip index dropped just over 11 points last week to close at 26,447.05, essentially flat compared to the previous Friday’s close. For the year to date, the index is up 6.5%, trailing both the S&P 500 (up 7.0%) and the Nasdaq Composite (up 11.2%).

On Wednesday, Apple shares posted a new 52-week (and all-time) high of $233.47. Then, on Friday, the Apple brand was named the world’s most valuable by brand consultancy Interbrand. The firm estimates Apple’s brand value at $214 billion, an increase of 16% year over year.

Thursday, however, was not such a great day. A report from Bloomberg News revealed that servers and PCs built by Supermicro for Apple, Amazon and nearly every other computer maker contained a stealth chip that allowed unauthorized access to the server or PC and ultimately the entire network of which that machine was a part. Apple and Amazon denied the report.

Apple shares closed Friday at $224.29, down about 1.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $150.24 to $233.47. The consensus price target is $233.56 and Apple’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is 16.38.