Update: AAPL closed at 535.41 but is at 536.37 pushing its market cap over $500B

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Some folks noticed that shares of Apple, Inc. surged yesterday morning amid favorable market conditions. Today’s announcement of the March 7 iPad 3 unveiling has managed to push the Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered designer of shiny electronics to a new lifetime high. The Apple stock, which trades on NASDAQ under the AAPL symbol, was up nearly nine points, or more than 1.5-percent, in early afternoon trading.

Valued at $534.08 a share, the company was just shy of $500 billion in market valuation at the time of this writing. Wow, just wow. Talk about the iPad effect.

That is still below Microsoft’s $583 billion valuation from 1999, but the iPhone maker’s getting closer and closer with each passing day. AAPL first crossed the $500 a share milestone the day before Valentine’s Day. Earlier on Feb. 9, 2012, shares of Apple, Inc. passed 10 percent of all of NASDAQ value and traded at $431 a share. In addition, right following Valentine’s Day, Apple first passed the psychological $500 a share barrier. For comparison’s sake, AAPL on Steve Jobs’ Oct. 5, 2011 passing traded at $378.25.

Per the official invitation, Apple officially scheduled the iPad 3 unveiling for March 7 (as expected). The keynote will take place at 10 a.m. PST at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where both the original iPad and iPad 2 were introduced to the world. It is interesting how the company carefully timed its invitations to stymie announcements coming from Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s keynote talk at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain—much in a fashion similar to how the January 2007 iPhone introduction pretty much killed the Consumer Electronics Show that year.

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