(Reuters) – Tech giants Apple (AAPL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) remained the top two global companies by market capitalisation at the end of July after riding this year’s rally in technology shares.
Apple last month became the first company in the world to reach a market value of $3 trillion, buoyed by hopes over its expansion in new markets and expectations for more moderate U.S. interest rate hikes.
Strong quarterly earnings from companies such as Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Meta Platforms (META.O), chipmaker Intel (INTC.O) and chip equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX.O) lifted overall market sentiment last month.
Facebook-owner Meta’s market cap jumped more than 10% in July, thanks to the company’s rosy revenue forecast and robust ad revenue growth in the second quarter.
Microsoft also beat Wall Street estimates for its fiscal fourth-quarter revenue, driven by growth in its cloud computing and office software businesses, although its share price slipped back 1.4% in July after it also laid out an aggressive spending plan to meet demand for artificial intelligence services.
Its market cap stood at $2.49 trillion at the end of July.
Apple is due to announce its earnings for the April-June quarter on Thursday.
“We continue to strongly believe a new tech bull market has started this year, and we believe the AI Gold Rush is a “1995 Moment” akin to the start of the Internet and NOT a 1999/2000 Bubble Moment,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a note last week.
In the financial sector, JP Morgan Chase’s (JPM.N) market cap grew about 8.6% last month, as the largest U.S. lender earned more from borrowers’ interest payments and benefited from the purchase of First Republic Bank.
Refinitiv data shows 69% of large- and mid-cap U.S. companies have surpassed analysts’ Q2 earnings estimates so far, with the tech sector accounting for 82% of these positive surprises.