Apple Valuation Hits $500 Billion

Somewhere, Steve Jobs is smiling. Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPad, has hit a record valuation of $500 billion, making it by far the most valuable business in the world. The company’s stock jumped 1.3 percent Wednesday as investors buzzed about the release of the iPad 3, due out March 7. The company, which analysts say could generate as much as $40 billion in profit this year, is one of only six U.S. firms to ever rise above the $500 billion mark.