Story first appeared in USA TODAY.

Exxon ended the week holding the title of the most valuable company in America after earlier being passed by Apple.
Exxon Mobil shares rose 42 cents Friday to $72, although still down for the week. The oil company now has a market capitalization of $350.1 billion, compared with Apple’s $349.5 billion. Shares of Apple, which makes the iPhone and iPad, rose $3.29 to $376.99.
Apple first surpassed Exxon on Tuesday afternoon, but settled at No. 2 by the time the stock market closed. On Wednesday it kept the top spot after the close, with a market cap of $337 billion versus Exxon’s $331 billion. Exxon, which had held the top spot since 2005, regained it Thursday, helped by 3.4% increase in the price of oil.
Oil ended 34 cents lower Friday at $85.38. It’s down 10.5% for the quarter.
Many analysts can understand why investors may view Apple as the more valuable company.
Exxon’s growth is tied to the price of oil and to the discovery of new oil sources. Apple, meanwhile, is limited only by innovation and ongoing demand for its products. That demand, for now, seems insatiable. Apple also has room to grow, since it commands just a small fraction of the smartphone and personal computer markets.
Exxon shares are still down 11.5% since June 30, a time period when oil prices have also dropped 10 percent. Apple shares have gained 12.3% in the same time frame.


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