As Groucho Marx famously said: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

It’s one of the best one-liners of all time, but I’m not sure Apple CEO Tim Cook would share the sentiment. On Wednesday, Apple’s shares traded above $468 for the first time, giving the iPhone maker a market value of more than $2-trillion.

Apple isn’t the first company to hit the $2-trillion market cap mark – Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, took that honour after some frenzied intraday trading in December – but it’s still something. And it’s especially notable if you consider that Apple was the first company to breach the $1-trillion figure in market value barely two years ago.

It is confirmation of the incredible stock market success enjoyed by Big Tech this year, even as so many other companies crumbled.

The New York Times has a great read on Apple’s rise and rise right here.

The Financial Times also has a fascinating article on why there really are some good reasons for the surge in stocks, despite the seeming disconnect to the wasteland economies that Covid has left behind.

As DeAnne Julius, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, writes: “The hopeful message” conveyed by soaring stock prices is that “one lasting consequence of Covid-19 may be the rejuvenation of productivity growth that eventually spreads far beyond tech”.

Read all about it right here.

When it comes to shifting trends in shopping, the FT also has this piece on US “big-box” retailer Target – which has just reported the biggest quarterly sales increase in its 58-year history.

With SA’s retailers like Massmart (majority owned by US giant Walmart) and Woolworths set to report their financial results in the next couple of weeks — and the numbers aren’t likely to be pretty — it’s worth seeing how some companies have managed to profit out of the pandemic.

Remember, even if SA has deeper pandemic scars thanks to the government’s cack-handed Covid response, not to mention its dithering economic policy, you as a South African can still own the best companies in the world, either via exchange traded funds listed on the JSE, or by buying shares directly through a multitude of platforms — including EasyEquities, Standard Bank, Sasfin and Saxo.

Go harness those animal spirits!

*Talevi is the FM's Money & Investing editor.

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