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Microsoft's market cap catches Apple

(Reuters) – Only four months after Apple broke the $ 1 trillion mark, the iPhone maker lost its lead as Wall Street's most valuable company and is about to be replaced by Microsoft.

Apple shares fell 1.77 percent on the extended trade after US President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that tariffs could be placed on laptops and mobile phones imported from China.

The loss eliminated the 1.35 percent increase during the official trading session and put the value of the Apple stock market at $ 814 billion.

Shares of Microsoft fell 0.35 percent after office hours to $ 106.10, putting its market capitalization also at $ 814 billion. Microsoft had recovered by more than 3 percent during the official trading session on Monday, when the market posted large gains.

The market capitalizations of both companies were calculated using the outstanding shares reported in their most recent 10-Q submissions.

Trade after the campaign is often volatile and lacks the volume usually seen in official bargaining sessions.

Technological stocks have been punished in recent months by investor concerns over the rise in interest rates and the consequences of the trade dispute between the United States and China.

But Apple has suffered more than other stalwarts in Silicon Valley, down 23 percent since the iPhone maker warned on November 1 that sales for the crucial holiday quarter are not likely to meet Wall Street expectations.

The global demand for smartphones has slowed down in recent years, making it difficult for Apple to increase its revenues.

Apple's market capitalization surpassed Microsoft's in 2010 when the Windows software maker struggled with the slow demand for personal computers, due in part to the explosion of smartphones powered by the iPhone.

Since Satya Nadella took over as executive director in 2014, Microsoft has reduced its reliance on Windows PC software and has become a major player in cloud computing, surpassed only by Amazon.com.

Thirty-three analysts recommend buying Microsoft shares, while only one has a negative rating and another has a neutral rating, according to Refinitiv data.

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