Though things could change again tomorrow, Apple on Thursday once again became the world's most valuable publicly-traded company by market cap, rising $4.15 (nearly a percentage point) to close at $456.68 per share (and still rising in after-hours trading, currently at $457.65). With a value approaching $415 billion, the company re-took the crown from Exxon Mobil, which fell by a dollar after a bad earnings report and lowered its overall market cap to $412 billion. AAPL has risen almost $50 over the past month, but is still off its 2013 high of $549.03 per share.
Investors appear to be building up the stock again -- after months of tearing it down for unclear reasons -- in anticipation of a strong fall lineup of new products and services that should keep the company on top of the consumer electronics game in time for the holiday season. While Apple has been seen to be losing some marketshare in smartphones and even (very slightly) in tablets, the company's sales remain strong and Apple is continuing to grow share in the crucial North American market. While "shipments" of other phones and tablets increase, the iPhone and iPad remain the dominant individual brands of smartphone and tablet respectively, in the latter case continuing to completely dominate its category.
Already known to be coming (presumably at various release times across the fall) are refreshes of the MacBook Pro lineup with new energy-efficient Haswell chips, major upgrades of OS X and iOS, a long-awaited Mac Pro, new iPhone and iPad models and various other lesser software and service upgrades. In addition, Apple has held out the possibility of other, completely-new products being introduced to market -- speculation has centered around an Apple-branded TV device and a potential "smartwatch" fitness accessory.