Microsoft challenged Apple's title as the most valuable USA company on Monday, as the iPhone maker weathered a slump that drove the tech giant into a recent bear market over concerns related to smartphone sales in the critical holiday season. The latter snagged the title at a time when Apple is suffering a continuous decline on its share price.
It's a somewhat surprising turn of events, as less than two months ago Microsoft's market value topped out at $887 billion while Apple's reached a peak above $1.12 trillion.
This article was originally published by Business Insider Australia.
For years, Apple has ruled as the USA stock with the largest market cap.
Shares of the iPhone maker have dropped sharply over the past several weeks, and the decline has erased about $300 billion in market capitalization from the company, which crested at a record $1.1 trillion valuation in early October.
Yet now, that very product is among the the challenges facing Apple, with concerns over weak iPhone demand pressuring shares to fall more than 25 per cent from record levels.
On the other hand, Microsoft was able to grow in value thanks to its cloud business and strong PC sales. Microsoft had rallied by more than 3 per cent during Monday's official trading session, when the market notched broad gains. Microsoft came within $3 billion of surpassing Apple, which has been the U.S.'s most valuable company since 2010, Reuters reported.
Below is a look at the spread between the two market caps going back to 1986.
Watch Microsoft and Apple trade live. Just last month, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet were also ahead of Microsoft in market capitalization.