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Apple sets the tone for modern market trends

The Apple logo on a tablet
The Apple logo being reflected off a tablet. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

Apple has become the textbook example on how to grow a business in today's market while route to becoming a $1 trillion company.

"Study this one company [Apple], and you can understand the five most meaningful market trends today," Financial Times global business columnist Rana Foroohar writes (subscription).

Financial engineering (the explosion in share buybacks).

  1. "[T]he rise of intangibles like intellectual property and brands (both of which the company has in spades) relative to tangible goods as a share of the global economy."
  2. Record levels of mergers and acquisitions.
  3. "[T]he next big crisis probably won’t emanate from banks, but from the corporate sector. Rapid growth in debt levels is historically the best predictor of a crisis. And this year the corporate bond market has been on a tear."
  4. "Tech-related deflation is a big part of what has kept interest rates so low for so long — it has not only constrained prices but wages too."