Google tops Exxon as world's second-most valuable company - for a day
Sudden surge points to world's growing dependence on technology
It was quite a day on Wall Street. Google, the world's largest online advertiser through its dominant search engine, had a higher market capitalization before falling back at the close in New York to a value of $395.4 billion compared to Exxon's $395.7 billion. Apple had a market value of $463.5 billion and software company Microsoft Corp. is No. 4 with $303.5 billion.
Technology companies have begun to disrupt industries from retail to finance for market domination. Google, which went public in 2004, 84 years after Exxon has definitely benefited from consumers moving to online services and content. The growing popularity of Smartphone's and tablets is being cited as the chief reason behind this trend.
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"It's the sign of the times," Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York says. "Out with the old and in with the new."
The world's largest oil producer by market value, Exxon has been under pressure since it reported fourth-quarter output declined last month. Net income fell 16 percent to $8.35 billion, or $1.91 a share. Sales dropped 3.3 percent to $110.86 billion. Global output for the Irving, Texas-based company dropped for the ninth time in 10 quarters.
Oil companies BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc also reported lower quarterly earnings compared with 2012 as the world's biggest oil companies face rising drilling costs, slumping refining profits and stagnate fuel prices.
Story: Get Ready for a Wild Week on Wall Street
Google reported last month that revenue, excluding sales passed on to partners, rose 11 percent to $13.6 billion, topping projections of $13.4 billion, amid a busy holiday shopping season. Google showed remarkable growth in its fourth quarter.
Shares of Exxon rose less than one percent to $90.58 at the close in New York and have fallen 10 percent this year. Google shares climbed 1.5 percent today to $1,177.44 and are up 5.1 percent this year.
"Google's market cap reflects investor recognition of the growing strength of its digital platform, which is growing leaps and bounds," Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research Inc., said in an e-mail.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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