After briefly surpassing Apple earlier in week, Microsoft retakes top spot for first time in 15 years
It’s official: Microsoft Corp. on Friday took back its title as the most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization at the close of trading, unseating Apple Inc. after a more than two-year run in the top spot.
Microsoft MSFT, +0.64% shares rose 0.6% to close at $110.89 Friday for a market cap of $851.22 billion, while Apple’s AAPL, -0.54% stock fell 0.5% to close at $178.58 for a market cap of $847.43 billion. Earlier in the week, Microsoft briefly snatched the crown away from Apple in intraday trading, but Apple had regained its top spot by the market close.
Since Aug. 1, 2013, Apple has held the title of most valuable U.S. company for all but two days when Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, +0.56% GOOGL, +1.38% market cap closed above Apple’s on Feb. 2, 2016, and May 12, 2016, according to Dow Jones data.
Apple first surpassed Microsoft in market cap back on May 28, 2010, when both companies were worth about $226 billion, according to FactSet.
But back then, the largest U.S. company by market capitalization was Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +0.56% which Apple last unseated as most valuable in January 2012, after first taking it away in 2011.
The last time Microsoft held the title as the most valuable U.S. company was Nov. 3, 2003, or 3,796 trading days, according to Dow Jones data.
Apple hit a market capitalization of $1.103 trillion back on Oct. 3, 2018, from which shares have fallen 23.5% in the meantime. But it’s that decline that handed Microsoft the crown as Microsoft shares have only slipped 3.7% since then.
For the year, Microsoft shares are up 29.6% while Apple shares are up 5.5%. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.79% is up 3.3%, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.82% is up 3.2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.79% is up 6.2%.