NEW YORK CITY, New York: Before the start of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference this week, Apple shares hit a record high for the first time in 17 months, though the company's market value remained below its peak of $3 trillion.
The world's most valuable listed company is expected to launch a mixed-reality headset at the conference, the company's first big move in a new product category since it launched the Apple Watch nine years ago.
Apple shares were last up 1.8 percent at $184.15, rising almost 40 percent in 2023, compared with an 11.5 percent rise in the benchmark S&P 500.
Becoming the only company in the world to hit $3 trillion in market capitalization early last year, Apple was last valued at $2.89 trillion.
In a note, Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring said that while it is still early, augmented reality/virtual reality could be the next main platform for Apple's growth.
"The fact that the company is expected to be the market leading vendor in mixed-reality headsets is what could make WWDC a more significant stock catalyst this year," Woodring said, as quoted by Reuters.
Amid the sudden popularity of artificial intelligence and the new focus on technology shares following last year's decline, Apple is among a handful of megacap firms whose stocks have rallied this year.