Photograph by Philippe Huguen -- AFP
By Stephen Gandel
February 2, 2016

Mr. Market has taken a bite out of Apple.

On Tuesday, Alphabet, Google’s corporate parent, surpassed Apple (aapl) as the world’s most valuable company. The mantle goes from one technology company to another; this time, from a consumer giant to an advertising company.

But, on a larger scale, the shifts in the most valuable companies shows a broader evolution within the U.S. economy from a focus on industry to technology. Before Apple, Exxon was the world’s most valuable company. General Electric (ge) also held the title at one time.

Apple still earns considerably more than Alphabet (googl)—$54 billion versus $23 billion in the past year.

But market caps are all about potential. And Mr. Market has placed his bet.

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