General Electric Co., the largest U.S. stock in terms of market capitalization, may mark a milestone soon, becoming the first U.S. company to reach $100 billion in market value.
GE has a recent market value of $97.38 billion, the largest company in the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index. GE makes up 2.5% of the $3.9 trillion benchmark.
A rise in GE's price to only $60 a share from its current price of $57.25 will put the company over the threshold.
The next largest companies are Exxon Corp., with a market value of approximately $88.63 billion; AT&T Corp. at $79.63 billion; Coca-Cola Co. at $79.55 billion; and Merck & Co. at $59.3 billion.
Twenty years ago, as of Jan. 1, 1975, when index investing first began being used, the market value of the entire S&P 500 totaled only $393.4 billion. GE then ranked ninth in market value, at $6.07 billion. The two largest companies then were neck and neck: AT&T at $24.85 billion; and IBM at $24.76 billion.
At that time, AT&T comprised 6.35% of the S&P 500, more than 21/2 times the share of the index GE has today, even though GE now has four times the market value AT&T had then.