Apple's money-making machine moved into high gear today as investors bid up the company's shares by $51 to $611 each at midday.
The run-up came after Apple reported spectacular profits Tuesday at the market close. Apple said that profit nearly doubled to $11.6 billion or $12.30 a share on sales of $39.2 billion compared with a year earlier. That beat analysts' estimates of $10.04 a share on $36.81 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Apple sold 11.8 million iPads last quarter and 35 million iPhones, in line with analyst expectations.
This morning, Apple's market value shot up more than $50 billion - that change alone is bigger than the total value of each company in the bottom 400 of the S&P 500. Apple is the most valuable company in the world, topping No. 2 Exxon Mobil by nearly $100 billion.