Microsoft helped to lift the Nasdaq higher on the final trading day of the week, with a rise of 2.4% Friday morning outpacing Apple’s 0.8% gain which further narrowed the market capitalization gap between the two biggest “Big Tech” stocks. At this rate, Microsoft is closing in on Apple in the world’s most valuable company race.
Many investors might not recall that Microsoft has been atop the market capitalization list in the past. Back in 1998, the tech boom helped lift the Windows maker’s market cap to more than $260 billion, helping Microsoft surpass General Electric to take the top spot.
The ensuing tech bust and bear market starting in 2000 led to Microsoft losing its perch for a while. However, by mid-2002, Microsoft was back in the top spot, once again topping GE. It wasn’t until 2005 that rising energy prices helped ExxonMobil surpass tech companies, and the oil giant held its spot until Apple finally took over in the early 2010s.
The past few years have seen Microsoft and Apple change places several times… Right now, about $150 billion separates Apple from Microsoft. All it would take is a 6% to 7% relative move to send Microsoft into the top spot once again.
MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s last reign as the most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization was a short one (just two days) as Apple shares climbed on February 12, 2020 to retake the crown.
Current Market Caps:
1. Apple – $2.450 trillion
2. Microsoft – $2.287 trillion