[NEW YORK] US tech giant Apple will join the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Index later this month, replacing telecom company AT&T, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced Friday.
The inclusion of the iPhone and iPad maker in the elite list of 30 top companies comes long after Apple had become the biggest US company by market capitalization, now with a value of more than US$730 billion. The change will take effect March 19, S&P Dow Jones said.
The index change will take effect March 19.
S&P Dow Jones said it shifted Apple into the prestigious index to ensure adequate representation of the information technology sector.
“As the largest corporation in the world and a leader in technology, Apple is the clear choice for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the most recognized stock market measure,” said David Blitzer, managing director of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The index dropped AT&T after concluding the Dow was “over-weighted” in telecommunications, Blitzer said.
Telecoms will continue to be represented in the Dow by Verizon.
The addition of Apple comes only days after the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index – in which Apple is a heavyweight – breached 5,000 for the first time in 15 years.
Apple is expected to launch its Apple Watch Monday at an event in San Francisco. In early trade, Apple shares rose 1.0 percent to $127.62, while AT&T fell 1.0 percent to $33.65.