Apple's stock is as popular as its iPhones

Apple makes the most popular music player, smartphone and tablet in the U.S. It also has the most-loved stock.

In 45 of the 50 U.S. states, Apple is the most widely held stock, according to data released on Thursday from online investment start-up FutureAdvisor. No other stock is deemed the most popular in more than a single state.

The data, based on a study of 161,000 retail investors, aren't all surprising. In terms of stock market value, Apple is the biggest U.S. company by a full $205 billion over Exxon Mobil. Excitement around the new iPhone 6 devices and Apple's jump into the smartwatch market along with increased stock buybacks spurred a 40 percent rally in the shares in the past year.

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But if it were all about valuation, the list would shake out quite differently. General Electric, which is ninth biggest by value, is the second most-owned stock in 30 states (and Washington, D.C.) and the most popular in one—Wyoming. Exxon, meanwhile, is only the 30th most popular stock overall among retail investors.

"The companies most popular with retail investors tend to have a consumer focus," FutureAdvisor said in the report.

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Of the investors in the analysis, 88,000 declared their state of residence. For two of the states where Apple isn't the most popular, there's a good reason. Wal-Mart is No. 1 in its home state of Arkansas. And Microsoft benefited from home-field advantage in Washington.

However, why Bank of America won North Dakota and Johnson & Johnson is so popular in West Virginia is not so easily explained.