By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
August 11, 2011

The closing bell rang Wednesday with Apple’s market cap, for the first time, at No. 1 

Apple (AAPL), for now at least, is the world’s most valued company by market capitalization (determined by multiplying a company’s stock price times number of shares outstanding). Here’s how it happened:

  • It caught up to Google (GOOG) in mid-2009
  • It overtook Walmart (WMT) in March 2010
  • It passed Microsoft (MSFT) in May 2010
  • It caught up to Exxon Mobile (XOM) Tuesday and closed higher, for the first time, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011

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