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Microsoft hits $3 trillion market value, second to Apple

Microsoft achieved a significant milestone by surpassing a $3 trillion market value on Wednesday, solidifying its position as the world’s second most valuable company, just behind Apple. The ongoing competition between Microsoft and Apple for the top spot in market capitalization saw Microsoft briefly overtaking Apple earlier in January. Despite reaching a record high of $405.63, Microsoft closed just below the $3 trillion threshold at $402.56. On the other hand, Apple’s shares closed at $194.50, maintaining its market value at $3 trillion.

Microsoft’s success is attributed to its strategic investment in OpenAI, positioning itself as a leader in generative artificial intelligence (AI). Leveraging OpenAI’s technology, Microsoft enhanced its flagship productivity software and Bing search engine, aiming to compete with Google’s dominant search offering. In contrast, Apple faces challenges with slowing demand for iPhones, particularly in the competitive Chinese market.

Analysts highlight Microsoft’s positive outlook, driven by AI optimism, as reflected in the median price target of $425 by the 54 analysts covering Microsoft’s stock. Microsoft shares experienced a substantial 57% gain in 2023 and a 7% increase year-to-date, showcasing the company’s strong performance. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock rose by 48% in the previous year, with marginal growth in the current year. The upcoming financial results reporting from these tech giants will be closely monitored in the coming weeks.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Additional reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Editing by Mark Porter, Bill Berkrot, David Evans, and Jonathan Oatis.

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