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

Chart courtesy of

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