Owners of Apple shares will be eligible for a dividend of $2.65 (£1.69) per share at the end of today.

Since there are 937.4 million Apple shares, the $2.65 dividend means that Apple is paying $2.5 billion to its shareholders.

The current share price is $619.86. Reuters noted that while the shares had fallen $1.05 during the day, with volume at $8.66 million (which is below the 50-day moving average of $14.2 million), options volume soared to about 1.34 million (the daily average is more than half that at 600,000 options).

According to optionMonster.com co-founder Jon Najarian: “Traders buy those, sell them seconds later and exercise their right to turn the long call into stock, to trade into a long stock, short call position, trying to capture that $2.65 dividend."

Apple will start to pay out the dividend on Thursday 16 August.

Wondering what to do with your dividend. The Motley Fool has some advice. The general consensus seems to be to reinvest.

If you have Apple stocks you only have a week to decide what you will do.