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Apple Is No Longer the World’s Most Valuable Company

February 2, 2016, 5:44 PM UTC
FRANCE-INTERNET-GOOGLE
A picture taken on October 17, 2017 in Lille, shows two figues in front of the Google internet homepage. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Philippe Huguen -- AFP

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.