Yesterday for a brief moment Apple surpassed Exxon as the most valuable company, but Exxon ultimately won the day, finishing a smidgen above Apple, as we reported. Today Apple ended the day with a market cap of $337.2 billion; Exxon ended with a market cap of $330.8 billion. As the Dow continued to drop, Exxon's market cap slipped while Apple's rose just enough to finish above Exxon's, as Business Insider's Jay Yarow and Kamelia Angelova report.
It's an incredible feat considering Apple was a broken company 15 years ago. In the world of technology, which evolves so rapidly, only a handful of companies have been able to reverse course and find new life.
Apple's rise to the top happened rather suddenly. Just a year ago it passed Microsoft to become the biggest company in tech. At the start of the year it was still $75 billion behind Exxon.
But what are the implications of the Cupertino tech company having more value than the dominant oil company? A couple themes we've seen:
People need their Apple gadgets. "Investors seem to think you want an iPad more than oil," explains The Associated Press's Barbara Ortutay. Apple has created products that people are willing to spend money on, even as the economy tanks and they have to forgo other luxuries, argues Ortutay. "People want their gadgets, especially those made by Apple, even in a recession and even as they watch their stock portfolios and retirement funds shrink." Apple has huge numbers, with nearly $30 billion in revenue last quarter. Investors like that, explains Ortutay.