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Apple supplants AT&T in Dow Jones industrial average

Cupertino’s Q4 performance sees telecoms giant ousted after presence for most of last century

IT Business, Financial news, Apple Incorporated

Apple will take AT&T's place in the Dow Jones industrial average, following a quarter in which the iPhone maker posted record profit and returned to its former position as the US' largest company by market value.

Apple's inclusion at the expense of the telecoms titan AT&T, which has been part of the Dow market index for most of the last century, is a strong indicator of the dominance the Cupertino tech company has been able to exert in consumer devices.

"This is a sign of the times, and it might get everyone to look at the Dow more than they have been," said Philadelphia Trust Co chief investment officer, Richard Sichel. "It would be difficult to pick any 30 companies that would cover the entire economy, especially compared with the S&P 500, but it does give the Dow more credibility."

The move to include Apple in the DJI, which is put together by S&P Dow Jones Indices, had been anticipated by analysts since Apple initiated its seven-for-one share split in June 2014. Its previous stock price was too high to make the company a suitable candidate for the Dow industrials, which is the oldest US stock average, first published in 1896. The aim of the index is to reflect the state of the US economy, but it uses only 30 companies and has, in the past, come under criticism for being less representative than wider-reaching rivals.