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In a first, Apple closes over $700

Hazem Sayed yawned while waiting outside an Apple store Tuesday for the iPhone 5 to go on sale on Friday.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Hazem Sayed yawned while waiting outside an Apple store Tuesday for the iPhone 5 to go on sale on Friday.

NEW YORK — Apple’s stock closed above $700 for the first time on Tuesday, the day after it announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours.

Shares closed at $701.91 Tuesday, up $2.13 from Monday’s close. They rose as high as $702.33 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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The rally in Apple’s stock price puts the company’s market value at $658 billion.

The $700 mark is somewhat of an arbitrary milestone for Apple’s stock, representing little more than a nice round number and a record high trading level.

The company, after all, already enjoys the distinction as the world’s most valuable public company ever, at least if one ignores inflation. Google Inc., its Silicon Valley neighbor, saw its stock price surpass $700 in 2007. On Tuesday, Google’s stock was trading at $712.28. But the online search leader’s market capitalization is well below Apple’s at $236.4 billion.

Apple started taking orders for the iPhone 5 at 3 a.m. EDT Friday. Orders during the first 24 hours more than doubled what Apple had for its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, over the same period.

Apple said on Monday that while most orders will be delivered this Friday, when the phone goes on sale in stores in the United States and eight other countries, demand exceeds the initial supply. That means some of the devices will be delivered in October.

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