Apple versus Exxon Mobil, the battle for no. 1

Apple logo over financial stat arrows,generic
Apple versus ExxonMobil, the battle for no. 1

(CBS/AP) - Amid all of the bad news on Wall Street, Apple continues to be the Rocky Balboa to the economy's Apollo Creed.

The Associate Press reported at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Apple knocked down Exxon Mobil to be the most valuable company in the U.S.

Apple Inc.'s stock gained 3.4 percent to $365.10 Tuesday afternoon, bringing the iPhone and iPad maker's market capitalization to about $338 billion. Exxon Mobil Corp. shares, meanwhile, were trading at $69.23, down 1.4 percent. That gives the oil company a market cap of $337 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, both companies were worth $341 billion at one point in the day. As of this writing, the market is still open and Apple is at $336 billion, while Exxon Mobil is at $331 billion. With less than an hour left in the trading day, the competition for the top spot is heating up.

As Bloomberg pointed out, "[Apple] was on the brink of bankruptcy before Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs returned as chief executive officer in 1997, [then] passed Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable business in the world."

We have no doubt that Apple will emerge as the champion of this battle. OK, we admit it's a snap judgment, but it seems like the sky is the limit for Apple. Popular products like the iPad and iPhone have no lack of demand. Meanwhile, big oil is dependent on so many unstable variables. And isn't it obvious that we adore our gadgets more than our vehicles?

Apple has been on the forefront of mobile technology since the release of the original iPhone in June of 2007. Since then, Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, has been a hit with consumers and is widely considered to be a game changer for hand-held devices.

Is that the sound of champagne popping at the company's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters? Perhaps we can get the staff liquored up enough to give us a hard release date on the iPhone 5.

UPDATE: Aww, looks like Exxon Mobil came out on top at the close of market with 348.32 billion, while Apple finished at 346.74 billion. There's always tomorrow, Apple!