The Ratings Game: Apple stock boosted by ‘strong buy’ call ahead of special press event

Shares of Apple Inc. jumped Thursday, enough to lift the technology giant back into first place on the list of most valuable U.S. companies, after Needham analyst Laura Martin’s upgraded the company ahead of next week’s “Apple Special Event.”

Apple’s stock AAPL, +3.49% surged 3.2% toward a 4-month high, pacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s DJIA, +0.74% gainers. The rally lifted Apple’s market capitalization to $915.7 billion from $887.2 billion on Wednesday. Meanwhile, second-place Microsoft Corp. shares MSFT, +0.94% edged up 0.9%, to lift the software giant’s market cap to $908.6 billion from $901.6 billion.

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