Riding high under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft has surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the second-most valuable company in the world, placing it just behind Apple, which holds the top spot. The companies swapped places last week when concerns about the falling price of oil brought Exxon’s shares down. The energy giant’s market capitalization fell to $401.9 billion on Friday from $403.9 billion on Wednesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp. ceded its title as the world’s second-largest company to Microsoft Corp. after the five-month oil rout cut $47 billion from its market value. Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, slipped 0.8 percent to $94.66 at 4 p.m. in New York, dropping for the third time in four days and reducing its overall value to $400.8 billion. Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, climbed 1.7 percent, extending an advance from its October bottom to 16 percent, pushing its capitalization to $408.9 billion. The flip-flop follows a 30 percent plunge in crude spurred by rising U.S. supplies and a refusal by OPEC to reduce output. Computer and software makers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index have posted the third-largest gains among industries this year besides health-care and utilities, rising 17 percent.