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Apple once more surpasses $1 trillion market cap, aided by service hopes & successes

Apple on Wednesday once again achieved a $1 trillion market valuation, a milestone supported by investor confidence in new services, better than expected iPhone sales, and hopes for future hardware.

The company's market cap hit $1 trillion during the day's NASDAQ trading, thanks to share prices peaking at $213 at 1:00 A.M. Eastern Time. Apple became the first U.S. company to reach the $1 trillion mark in August 2018, riding high on a strong quarterly earnings report, similar to Tuesday's results.

That pole position was relatively short-lived, since while Apple shares rose as high as $232.07 in October, they were eroded to $157.92 by January. On Jan. 3 they took a massive single-day plunge to $142.19, driven by the company's warning that it would miss December-quarter guidance by billions of dollars. iPhone sales were down 15 percent year-over-year, most heavily savaged in China.

Analysts and investors appear to have regained confidence, if by looking past the iPhone to products like wearables and accessories, such as AirPods, the Apple Watch, and its anticipated augmented reality headset.

Above all though the company is expected to benefit from its growing services business. This includes Apple Music, AppleCare, iCloud, iTunes, and the App Store, plus its fledgling video streaming and Apple News subscriptions, premiering at a March 25 press event. While those could amount to billions in extra revenue per year once subscriber numbers take off, the real value is thought to be in locking people into the Apple ecosystem, even if some services are available on third-party platforms like Android, Amazon Alexa, and Windows. Apple gives preferential treatment to first-party services — Apple Music is the only on-demand music option with a full set of Siri controls, for example.

Securities and Exchange Commission paperwork expected later on Wednesday, updating Apple's active share count, may change the valuation. Apple is in the midst of several buyback programs, and has announced a new $75 billion effort as well.