There were different accounts on Tuesday about whether Apple had closed the day with a lower market capitalization than Microsoft, but there was no doubt that it had fallen below – at least briefly – the value of its long-time competitor for the first time since 2010.
Bloomberg reported that Microsoft retained the top spot at close on Tuesday:
“After briefly claiming the top spot on Monday, Microsoft shares rose 0.6 percent Tuesday, pushing the company’s market value to $828.1 billion at the close. That exceeded by more than $1 billion the value of Apple, which has tumbled this month on concern about iPhone unit sales. The last time Microsoft’s market capitalization was bigger than Apple was in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple reclaimed its title by close of trading in New York:
“Shares in Microsoft opened at $106.27, pushing its market capitalization to $815.75 billion, elbowing past Apple’s opening value of $813.88 billion. After the first minute of trading, Apple was back on top. The two swapped spots several times later in the day before Apple at the close reclaimed the title it has held for most of the past seven years.”
Whatever the case, concerns of iPhone sales were exacerbated by a threat from the US president that he will slap 10% tariffs on Apple products shipped from China.
But UBS said in a note that the threat “could simply be a negotiating tactic ahead of the G20 Summit later this week,” per CNBC. According to UBS, the tariffs would represent a US$1.5 billion hit to Apple’s earnings. If the rate is upped to 25%, “the impact would be ~$3.8B or ~$0.83 in EPS,” the investment bank said.