Chat of the week: Apple’s market cap overtakes the US energy sector

A major market milestone has been reached on Wall Street. Tech giant Apple, following a 70% share-price surge this year, has eclipsed the value of the entire US energy sector, says Robin Wigglesworth on
Apple now boasts a market capitalisation of almost $1.2trn, while the S&P 500 Energy index stands at $1.12trn.
Oil prices have been hampered by signs of slowing global demand, while Apple has shrugged off fears that trade tensions would dent sales and profits thanks to a strong performance from its wearables division: Apple Watches and Airpods helped give revenue an unexpected fillip in the third quarter.
Apple has regained its position as America’s most valuable listed company from Microsoft, worth $1.16trn.

Asia-Pacific has seen much faster dividend growth than the rest of the world. Since 2009, payouts in Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) have more than tripled, rising 216% by the end of September, an average annual increase of 12.9%. Dividends outside the region have also done well, more than doubling over the period in sterling terms (up 121%), but clearly have not been able to match the Asian advance. In the year to the end of April 2020, Henderson Far East Income expects corporate profits across the region to see low single-digit growth, but anticipates dividend growth to be faster than this, because there is room for payout ratios to expand. [Manager] Mike Kerley… says: “A key element of the investment case for Asia is a structural shift that has seen companies increasingly adopt a dividend-paying culture… this is unlocking long-term value”.
Henderson Far East Income Trust

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