How Apple and Microsoft dwarf the rest of the market

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Hitting a milestone that highlighted just how much the two largest U.S. companies influence major stock indexes, Apple and Microsoft helped propel the Dow industrials above 28000 for the first time earlier this month.
Apple shares have soared 66% this year, pushing it ahead of Microsoft with a $1.204 trillion market value. Revenue growth in Apple’s services business and products outside the iPhone have fueled fresh enthusiasm for the stock.
Even though it has fallen behind its rival in market cap, Microsoft has still had a banner year, with shares rallying 47% to give the software giant a market value of $1.154 trillion. Strength in the company’s cloud-computing segment have helped the Redmond, Wash., company offset slower growth elsewhere.
With a combined market value of more than $2.3 trillion, Apple and Microsoft now tower over much of the market and have surged ahead of rivals like Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc… Apple and Microsoft together are now twice as large as the entire energy group… The tech duo has also eclipsed the combined market size of all the companies in the Russell 2000… Together, Apple and Microsoft are also larger than the 197 smallest companies combined in the S&P 500, according to Dow Jones Market Data. They have also eclipsed the index’s consumer staples, materials, real estate and utilities sectors.
Despite worries the two tech stalwarts have rallied too far, they are still less expensive than peers such as Amazon based on profits in the past year. Apple is also cheaper than the broader technology sector.

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