As the company registers blockbuster sales of its latest iPad, the stock finishes the day above a historic mark.
For a third straight day, shares of Apple rallied toward $600--and this time they finished the day above the iconic mark for the first time in the company's history.At the close of trading on Monday, shares of Apple stood at $601.10, up 2.65 percent in the aftermath of the company's surprise announcement earlier in the day that it would use some of its $100 billion in cash to pay out a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1.
Last week Apple shares hit $600 for the first time before retreating. Just to put this meteoric stock climb in perspective, this historic move in Apple's share price comes one month after the stock hit $500. Shares were at $403 the day before Christmas.
Some of the fuel for this rocket ride was provided by the expectation that CEO Tim Cook would finally bend to the repeated pleading by some big investors to return a portion of the company's gains to investors in the form of dividends. Also, the recent debut of Apple's latest iPad has been little short of phenomenal. After the stock market closed today, the company issued a statement announcing that it had sold 3 million new iPads during its first three days on sale. That number does not include preorders of the device, which went live the day the product was announced.