Market value

Apple pulls away from Exxon in the battle of the market caps

May 6, 2013: 1:25 PM ET

The oil giant's interregnum may have been short-lived.

Chart: Wolfram Alpha. Click to enlarge.

Chart: Wolfram Alpha. Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- Two years ago Apple (AAPL) made headlines when its market capitalization (share price times number of shares outstanding) overtook Exxon Mobil's (XOM) for the first time.

In January, with Apple's share price in a tailspin, the big news everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post was that Exxon was once again the market cap king -- the world's most valuable company.

When Apple retook the lead the next day, almost no one noticed. Perhaps that news didn't fit the Apple-is-doomed narrative.

Now, having lost and regained the lead several times since, Apple is once again pulling away from the oil giant. By midday Monday, with Apple at $434.4 billion and Exxon at $404.8, the gap between the two companies' valuations had swelled to roughly one and a quarter Dells (DELL).

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