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Apple dances with Exxon for market cap crown

During Tuesday, Apple and Exxon Mobil leapfrogged one another for the title of the most valuable publicly traded company.

Apple business logo

Update, 1:15 p.m. PT: With trading closed, Exxon Mobil ended the day with its top market cap spot, according to Google, Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg's count.


Following a flurry of trading activity today, Apple and Exxon Mobil traded spots in a dramatic race for the title of being the world's most valuable publicly traded company based on market capitalization.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that the two companies briefly swapped spots, with Apple garnering a larger market cap, at $341.5 billion, compared to Exxon's $341.4 billion. Exxon later regained its top spot, pushing its market cap to roughly $2 billion more than that of the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology company. Apple then surged once again, reclaiming the title, only to once again be beaten out by Exxon before the closing bell, according to the counts of Google, Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg.

Market capitalization is defined as the value of shares times the number of shares outstanding. Exxon surpassed General Electric, based on that metric, in 2005.

As MarketWatch notes, Apple sat at No. 287 on the S&P 500's market cap list just 10 years ago. The company hit the $300 billion market cap mark at the very beginning of the year and has been on an upwards tear since mid-June, with the stock briefly topping $400 a share in early July, following the company's record third-quarter earnings.

Apple made waves in May, passing the market cap of Microsoft, the company that once bailed it out as part of a $150 million investment and business deal. In October of last year, Apple went on to pass Microsoft in revenue, as well.

Updated at 11:48 a.m. PT to note additional fluctuations and details, once again at 1:15 p.m. PT to reflect close-of-market details and add a market cap tracking chart from YCharts below, then a third time at 4:30 p.m. PT with final tallies.

Apple Market Cap Stock Chart

Apple Market Cap Stock Chart by YCharts