Apple Surpasses Wal-Mart in Market Capitalization

Just days after reaching $200 billion in market capitalization, Apple has pushed past Berkshire Hathaway and Wal-Mart to take the third spot in market capitalization among publicly-listed U.S. companies behind Exxon Mobil and Microsoft. Apple and Wal-Mart remain neck-and-neck today, with minute-by-minute fluctuations in the two companies' stock prices causing them to rapidly swap positions.

Apple's stock price has continue to drift upward this week as excitement from the iPad pre-orders continues to abound, while Berkshire Hathaway and Wal-Mart have remained stagnant or even dropped a bit, allowing Apple to catch up.

Apple has a ways to go to reach second place, however, as Microsoft holds nearly a $50 billion lead over Apple. At present share counts, AAPL stock, currently at $226 per share, would have to increase to the $280+ range to match Microsoft's current market capitalization.