With iPhone 5 on the horizon, Apple stock reaches $700

With the iPhone 5 garnering a whopping 2 million pre-orders in its first 24 hours of availability, there isn't any doubt that consumers are excited for its launch. That excitement has led to a stock milestone for Apple, as its stock price hit the $700 mark for the first time today. Of course, that doesn't mean too much when you're already the world's most valuable company, but a $700 stock price is a milestone that not every company can report.

Apple's stock price hit the $700 point earlier today, after coming dangerously close by the end of business on Monday. Since then, it's been hovering right around $700, sometimes dipping down to $699 and other times threatening to get up to $701. At the time of this writing, the stock price is lingering right around $700.50, which is a 0.10% gain, and with about an hour-and-a-half left to go before the closing bell, there's a possibility that it could climb even higher by the end of the day (or, alternatively, dip below where it started and wipe out any gains made today).

ABC News reports that the high for Apple's stock today was $701.44, which brings the company's market value up to a whopping $656 billion. That certainly isn't anything to stick your nose up at, and you can bet that Apple's stock will experience another surge after the iPhone 5 actually hits shelves, provided that it proves to be successful. It seems to be headed in that direction too, with a number of analysts claiming that the iPhone 5 could sell tens of millions of units this month alone.

The iPhone 5 is launching this Friday in 9 regions around the world, including the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, and the UK. On September 28, it will be launching in 22 other countries and regions, and by the time 2013 rolls around, Apple hopes to have launched the iPhone 5 in 100 different countries and have it available on 240 different carriers. In other words, this is going to be a pretty huge launch, so don't expect Apple's stock to be taking a tumble any time soon.