Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) gained 1.86 percent during the day to close at $502.60 Monday after hitting a record $503.83 shortly after the opening bell.

Apple has climbed on 11 of the 14 days since reporting quarterly results. Last month, Apple trounced ExxonMobil (XOM) as the most valuable company in the world. Apple's market value is worth 16 percent more than Exxon's.

Shares of Apple have enjoyed a 40 percent rise since last February and a nearly 500 percent gain since five years ago. The company's profits for the quarter, which ended on Dec 31, stood at $13.1 billion, 36 percent more than the average analyst forecast, while revenue beat forecasts by $7.3 billion. Shares have risen 17 percent over the past month, the biggest gain since August 2009.

Apple's astounding rise and market dominance have made investors extremely happy in the current condition of economic instability. With Apple's stock rising so quickly and consistently, some investors might wonder if it's the only stock they need. Most analysts have price targets on the stock of $560 or much more. Apple stock rose 26 percent last year and was the 55th-best stock in the S&P 500.

Apple's number one position in the Nasdaq 100 constitutes 16.40 percent of the index. Its market capitalization, at $467.21 billion, is now greater than Microsoft's ($257.43 billion) and Google's ($199.30 billion) combined.

Appleā€™s success appears to defy weak consumer confidence, high unemployment and the slower growth of other sectors and companies. Its dominance in the equity markets is likely to only grow over time. Its large influence in the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 will definitely be worth watching.

Apple's stock is the most widely owned by hedge funds, and millions of consumers across globe are fixated by its products. The company is expected to unveil a new version of its market-leading iPad at an event in San Francisco in March, which could further increase its popularity and thereby help the shares to continue their breathtaking rise.