Google Inc. briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp. as the second-most valuable company, trailing only Apple Inc. and underscoring the growing role of technology in the economy.
Google, which became the world’s largest online advertiser through its dominant search engine, had a higher market capitalization during intraday trading today before falling back at the close in New York to a value of $395.4 billion compared to Exxon’s $395.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Apple had a market value of $463.5 billion. Software company Microsoft Corp. is No. 4 with $303.5 billion.
Technology companies are establishing themselves as key players worldwide as they disrupt industries from retail to finance. Google, which went public in 2004 — 84 years after Exxon — has benefited from consumers moving to online services and content, a trend that’s being accelerated by the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.
“It’s the sign of the times,” said Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. “Out with the old and in with the new.”
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