Apple Briefly Becomes Third Most Valuable Co. in the US


The beginning of iPad pre-orders Friday morning led to a trading surge in Apple’s stock that briefly pushed its market capitalization ahead of Wal-Mart’s, thanks to a dip in the latter’s stock, noted Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Apple shares hit US$227.73 before retreating and ending the day at $226.60, up $1.10.

Apple’s market capitalization briefly put it behind only Exxon and Microsoft. That statistic is derived by multiplying a company’s share price by the number of shares outstanding, which is how Wal-Mart can remain ahead of Apple despite a share price that closed at $53.90 on Friday.

Apple’s stock has hit five all-time highs since the company announced a ship date for the iPad a week ago.