POSTED: 2:52 p.m. HST, Feb 29, 2012
NEW YORK >> Apple's market capitalization topped $500 billion Wednesday, climbing to a mountain peak where few companies have ventured — and none have stayed for long.
Apple was already the world's most valuable company. The gap between it and No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp. has widened rapidly in the past month, as investors have digested Apple's report of blow-out holiday-season sales of iPhones and iPads. And, more recently, Apple has raised investors' hopes that it might institute a dividend.