Apple raised eyebrows in January when it revealed that it was sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash, most of which it is holding overseas in order to avoid repatriation taxes it would have to pay should it bring the money back to the United States. Two months later, Apple’s stock market performance is raising eyebrows again, as Zero Hedge notes that the company is now bigger than the entire American retail sector:
A company whose value is dependent on the continued success of two key products, now has a larger market capitalization (at $542 billion), than the entire US retail sector (as defined by the S&P 500).
Apple has faced controversy about its international labor practices, including its outsourcing of jobs to other countries, and in response it issued a report early this month claiming credit for 514,000 American jobs. Though some disputed the report, Apple claimed it directly employs 47,000 Americans and estimates that the other 257,000 are employed by companies that make component parts, deliver the products, or are employed because of Apple’s effect on the economy.