For the first time in almost a year, all of Apple Inc.’s U.S. retail stores are open.
That milestone, along with news over the weekend that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
is still bullish on its 5.4% stake in the tech giant, sent Apple shares
jumping more than 5% on Monday, their biggest gain in more than four months.
Apple closed all its stores outside China on March 13, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Its stores in China had closed that February.
But as of Monday, all 270 Apple stores in the U.S. were open in some capacity, though some still have restrictions, such as being appointment-only. Stores in Texas were the last to reopen Monday, following additional delays caused by February’s crippling winter storm.
9to5 Mac was the first to report the openings. It also said the only Apple stores remaining closed worldwide are about a dozen in France and Brazil.
A number of U.S. stores had reopened starting last May, but many were forced to close again as the pandemic worsened and local restrictions were tightened. The reopened stores are seen as somewhat of a bellwether on local business conditions, and are an encouraging sign of an economic recovery as COVID-19 vaccines get distributed more widely and cases fall nationwide.
Apple shares rose more than 5% on Monday, their best showing since a 6.4% gain on Oct. 12. Apple stock is down 3.7% year to date, but is up 71% over the past 12 months, compared to Dow Jones Industrial Average
gains of 3% this year and 18% over the past year.