Amazon Briefly Edges Out Apple for Most Valuable Company

Amazon.com briefly became the most valuable company on Wall Street in intraday trade on Monday, days after Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> dethroned long-time leader Apple.

Amazon rose by 4.7 percent at one point, putting its market capitalisation at $865.0 billion (roughly Rs. 61 lakh crores). At the same time, Apple traded up 2.1 percent, giving it a market capitalisation of $864.8 billion (around Rs. 60.99 lakh crores).

Microsoft, which on Friday closed above Apple’s market capitalisation for the first time in eight years, was up 0.9 percent, leaving its stock market value at $859.0 billion (about Rs. 60.6 lakh crores), third in the group.

Amazon’s lead lasted only a few seconds. At the close, Apple was back on top with a 3.49 percent increase in its stock that put its total value at $877 billion (approximately Rs. 61.9 lakh crores). It was followed by Amazon, up 4.86 percent with a market capitalisation of $866.6 billion (roughly Rs. 61.1 lakh crores), and then Microsoft, up 1.08 percent and a stock market value of $860.4 billion (about Rs. 60.7 lakh crores).

The tight race between the trio of high-powered technology stocks coincided with a broad stock market rally after the United States and China agreed on a temporary truce in their ongoing trade dispute.

Apple in August became the first US publicly listed company to reach a $1 trillion (approximately Rs. 70.5 lakh crores) market capitalisation, but its share price has fallen sharply in recent months as investors worried that demand for iPhones was losing steam.

Its market capitalisation overtook Microsoft’s in 2010 as Microsoft struggled with slow demand for personal computers, due in part to the explosion of smartphones like the iPhone.

Amazon’s stock has recovered most of the ground it lost after the online retailer in October forecast disappointing sales for the holiday quarter.

Although it is down about 13 percent from its Sept. 4 record-high close, in the year to date Amazon’s stock is up 51 percent, compared with a 31 percent rise for Microsoft and Apple’s 9 percent increase.