Nvidia Corp. NVDA, +2.86% surpassed Intel Corp. INTC, -0.32% as the largest U.S. chip maker by market cap for the first time on Wednesday. Nvidia shares closed up 3.5% at $408.64, giving it a market cap of $251.31 billion, while Intel shares finished up 0.5% at $58.61, giving it a market cap of $248.16 billion, according to FactSet data.
For the year, Nvidia shares have gained 74% while Intel shares have slipped 2%, compared with a 11% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index SOX, +1.31%, a 17% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.52%, and a 1.9% decline in the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.56%. While it is not the first time a U.S. chip maker has surpassed Intel in market cap, it is the first time for Nvidia. Back in 1999 and 2000, Texas Instruments Inc. TXN, +0.90% surpassed Intel in cap a few times, and between late 2012 and mid-2014 Qualcomm Inc. QCOM, -0.29% and Intel often jockeyed for the No. 1 position, according to Dow Jones data.