Apple is in the process of selling debt for the first time in more than two decades, following Microsoft, which sold nearly $2 billion in debt last week. These companies are looking forward to taking advantage of interest rates at or near unheard-of lows. Apple's debt is expected to be priced as soon as Tuesday.
"It's just free money," says Bill Larkin of Cabot Money Management. "It's very cheap (to borrow) right now, so companies figure, 'Let's lend to them.' "