It’s no secret that Apple is the largest company in the United States, having recently seen its share price rocket above $500 thanks to impressive iPhone sales. However, the magnitude of Apple is causing some trouble for financial analysts – so much so that, in order to gain a better understanding of the market, some spectators are trying to imagine how it would look without the Cupertino, CA company.

The news comes in a report from The Wall Street Journal, which notes:

Earlier this month, Jonathan Golub, the chief U.S. equity strategy at UBS AG, caused a stir among his clients by publishing two versions of his regular quarterly earnings update: one for the companies that make up the S&P 500, and another for what he calls “S&P 500 ex-Apple.”

Similar moves have also been made by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Wells Fargo recently.

The report continues:

The results are striking: For all the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, earnings are on track to post a 6.6% year-on-year rise in the fourth quarter. Once Apple’s earnings are factored out, the expected fourth-quarter gain shrivels to just 2.8%, according to UBS.

Apple’s size, The Wall Street Journal explains, “means that its success or failure alone can change how earnings season is viewed.”

You can read through the full report over at Yahoo! Finance. Take a look, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.