Apple on Thursday became the first American public company to cross US$1 Trillion in value.

Apple's current rally stretches from its June low when it bottomed at just below US$181.  Since then, it has rallied just over 14 percent, shy the 15 percent average advance over the past 16 months.  AAPL closed at $207.39, with some exuberant traders under the belief it could go even further, $225 or even $275.  Others are forecasting a pullback, which could be a buying opportunity.  Other tech stocks are creeping up behind:  Amazon is worth nearly $900 billion while Google and Microsoft are each now worth more than $800 billion.

That's a long way from 20 years ago.  Apple was slowly coming back to life after a $150 million investment from Microsoft in 1997 saved the company.  Steve Jobs rejoined as CEO.  The original Bondi Blue iMac was just introduced, and Jobs ordered engineers and designers to create a music player.

The resulting iPod turned out to be way more than an mp3 player - it was the first wave in new gizmos that for the first time put enormous amounts of data inside consumers' pockets.  When the iPod was released in October 2001, Apple's stock price was hovering around $1.25 per share.