As 2018 ends, Microsoft, not Apple, is the most valuable public company in the world

As 2018 ends, Microsoft, not Apple, is the most valuable public company in the world
For most of 2018, there was a two-way battle between Apple and Amazon to see which of the two would be the first U.S. publicly traded company to be worth one trillion dollars. Though Apple was in the lead, becoming the most valuable exchange-traded company in the world, some analysts extrapolated Amazon's 300% move from its 2016 bottom and figured that the creator of the smart speaker category would hit the tape first.

But on August 2nd, just days after Apple reported a strong fiscal third quarter, the company's stock finally reached a market capitalization of $1 trillion. Almost exactly a month later, Amazon also was valued at $1 trillion. But since then, both companies have seen their shares hit hard by sellers. From its peak, Apple's shares have dropped 32%. As trading concluded for the year, Apple is valued at $748.5 billion. Since its highwater mark, Amazon's shares have dropped 27% and the company is now valued at $734 billion.

So which tech company will end 2018 as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world? It is Microsoft. The software giant's shares finished 2018 valued at $780 billion. This year the company launched its Surface Go tablet, and the Surface Pro 6 tablet (see image at the top of this article). And while its participation in the smartphone industry is muted at the moment, Microsoft came out of nowhere to top Apple and Amazon.

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