Boosted by upbeat investor reaction to its strong earnings report this week, Apple Inc. on Thursday became the second-largest company on the S&P 500 Index in terms of market capitalization, surpassing software giant Microsoft Corp.
According to Standard & Poor's index services unit, Apple reached a market cap of $241.5 billion to pass that of Microsoft's $239.5 billion market capitalization. The S&P 500 is float-adjusted and doesn't use the full market basis for Microsoft.

Apple trails only Exxon Mobil and its market cap of more than $300 billion. Microsoft took umbrage at the report, saying that based on all 8.764 billion shares outstanding, which they valued at $30 a share, would make the company's market cap $262 billion.
Apple's market cap got a lift this week after the company on Tuesday reported a second-quarter profit of $3.07 billion, or $3.33 a share, on revenue of $13.5 billion. The company's results were helped by sales of 8.75 million iPhones and 2.94 million Macintosh computers during the quarter.
In the two days since Apple's report, the company's share have risen 9% to close Thursday at $266.47, while Microsoft shares are up just 3 cents to $31.39. After the market closed Thursday, Microsoft reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $4.01 billion, or 45 cents a share, compared with earnings of $2.98 billion, or 33 cents a share during the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 6% to $14.5 billion.
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