By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 19, 2013

FORTUNE — With Apple (AAPL) easily the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization — a comfortable $77 billion ahead of Exxon (XOM) — the action shifts to the neck-and-neck race between Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) for the No. 3 spot.

That upward dogleg in the yellow line at the far right of the attached chart is Google shooting ahead of Microsoft in an unusually decisive fashion: In a single $40 billion leap Friday when its shares, powered by a strong earnings report, jumped $122.61 (13.8%) to close for the first time above $1,000.

CORRECTION: Google did not overtake Microsoft on Friday, as the headline implies. It was already No. 3 in market cap — by $5 billion — at the close of business Thursday. By the close of business Friday it was $45.6 billion ahead.

UPDATE: From Quentin Hardy’s piece in the
New York Times
: “The jump brought [Google’s] gain since its initial offering to roughly 1,100 percent. During the same period, the shares of rose 830 percent. Samsung, which makes smartphones as well as the chips that go into many other manufacturers’ devices, rose 760 percent. And Apple leapt a staggering 3,300 percent.” (emphasis ours)

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