Unexpectedly Intriguing!
August 25, 2020

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been on a tear. It was almost two years ago that the company became the first trillion-dollar company in the S&P 500. Then, last week, it became the first $2-trillion company in the index.

As of the market close on Monday, 24 August 2020, Apple's market capitalization has reached $2.13 trillion, with the company accounting for over 7.2% of the total valuation of the S&P 500.

But here's the thing. It's not the only S&P 500 component with a market cap of $2 trillion or more. Because if you pay closer attention than the mainstream business media, the combination of the Class A (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Class C (NASDAQ: GOOG shares of Alphabet, which is still better known as Google, has also surpassed $2 trillion. If you go by what MarketWatch reported for both classes of shares as of the close of business yesterday, the firm has attained a market cap of $2.14 trillion, making Alphabet just ever so slightly bigger than Apple.

These are estimates based on the reported float, or number of shares of both companies available to be traded by the public, at the end of their last business quarters. The number of shares is subject to change as companies may either issue new stock or, as in the case of Apple, may engage in share buybacks. (Apple has also announced plans for a 4-for-1 stock split that will take effect soon, but that will not affect its market cap estimate.)

Because of its aggressive stock buyback policy, Apple's market cap is almost certainly less than Alphabet's. It may also be less than $2 trillion, though we won't know until after Apple reports its next quarterly earnings.

Finally, if you're wondering how much $2 trillion is, if you could stack $2 trillion worth of $1 bills as high as you can imagine, they would reach nearly 120,000 miles into the sky, or a little over halfway to the moon.

Previously on Political Calculations

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