NEW YORK — Apple is the world's most valuable company, ever. On Monday, its surging stock propelled the company's value to $624 billion, beating the previous record for market capitalization set by Microsoft Corp. in the heady days of the Internet boom.
After a four-month dip, Apple's stock hit new highs recently because of optimism around what is believed to be the impending launch of the iPhone 5, and possibly a smaller, cheaper iPad. Apple Inc. has been the world's most valuable company since the end of last year, when it surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp.
Apple's stock closed at $665.15 on Monday. That was an all-time high, up $17.04, or 2.6 percent, from Friday's close. If that seems to pricey for one share of Apple, here are five other ways you can spend $665:
_ A Steve Jobs-themed gift set: A St. Croix black mock turtleneck ($185), a pair of dark stonewash Levi's 501 jeans ($48), a pair of grey New Balance 991 running shoes ($150), a 16 GB iPhone 4S ($199 with wireless service plan) and The Beatles Anthology Box Set ($80 on iTunes). Total: $662.
_ Fourteen cases of McIntosh apples (more than 1,040 pieces of fresh fruit) home-delivered from Fresh Direct. $650.
_ Two premium orchestra seats for Tony-award-winning Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," plus refreshments during intermission. About $650.
_ One pair of Jimmy Choo apple-red patent-leather peep-toe pumps. $665.
_ Twenty-one shares of Microsoft stock. $645.54, at Monday's closing price.
_ Three BlackBerry PlayBook 7-inch tablets, once positioned by Research in Motion Ltd., as alternative to iPad. About $606 through Amazon.com.
One item you won't be able to purchase: the original Apple I computer. Though it carried a sticker price of $666.66 in 1976, it sold for $374,500 at a Sotheby's auction in June.