Apple has once ceded the title of world's most valuable corporation to Exxon Mobil. The two companies traded places on Monday after shares both company moved lower, but with Apple losing more than Exxon. $4 billion currently separates the two companies.
$AAPL closed at $420.05, down $10.42 (-2.42 percent), on strong volume of 20.8 million shares trading hands. That represents a 52-week closing low for the stock. Apple's market cap is $394.5 billion .
$XOM ended the day at $88.95, down $0.480 (-0.54 percent), on moderately light volume of 10.9 million shares trading hands. Exxon Mobil has a market cap of $398.5 billion.
The news made headlines, of course, as it fuels the fire of those predicting Apple's doom. After all, Apple is only worth $394.5 billion. Clearly Apple sucks!
As we've pointed out in the past, there's little meaning to the title of world's most valuable corporation other than bragging rights. Apple and Exxon have traded places many times in recent years, and when the two companies are close, that can happen throughout the day in session after session. This is very likely to be the case in the near future.
Apple is at the bottom end of a slide that began in late September, as Wall Street has pared 40 percent of $AAPL's value from it's all-time closing high of $702.10 set on September 19th. Since then, a miasma of fear, doubt, and uncertainty (FUD) has settled over the company that the most profitable quarter in history for a a tech company can not overcome.
Indeed, on Monday, not even a fresh rumor that Apple will release a smartwatch in 2013 could keep the stock from sliding.
Writing for Time magazine on Monday, Ben Bajarin suggested that Steve Jobs's famous reality distortion field (RDF) has shifted from inside Apple to outside Apple, especially with Wall Street and the mainstream media (we linked to it earlier as a Cool Stuff Found entry).
That about sums it up, but it's important to remember that there has always been a lot of stupid things written and said about Apple. It was just as true on $AAPL's way up as it has been in the last five months and as it was back-in-the-day when everyone knew Apple was on death's door.
The reality is that most people simply don't "get" Apple.
The only real difference today is that Apple has $137 billion in the bank and it's now the world's second most valuable company. Never mind that a little volatility either way will result in yet-another-change-in-places.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.