Microsoft Becomes Most Valuable US Company Amid Apple’s Declining Share Price

Microsoft has stolen Apple's title as the world's most valuable company

Shares of the iPhone maker have dropped sharply over the past several weeks, and the decline has erased about US$300 billion in market capitalisation from the company, which crested at a record US$1.1 trillion valuation in early October.

It's a surprising turn of events as less than two months ago Microsoft's topped out at $887 billion while Apple's reached a peak above $1.12 trillion just one month after becoming the first United States company with a $1 trillion valuation.

Apple's market capitalization overtook Microsoft's in 2010 as the maker of Windows software struggled with slow demand for personal computers, due in part to the explosion of smartphones driven by the iPhone. For now though, Microsoft is doing a little better than Apple. It was also the first time since 2013 that any company topped it, ever since Apple eclipsed Exxon Mobil Corp.in size, according to an analysis of Bloomberg data. Microsoft has jockeyed with both Apple and e-commerce giant Amazon for position among the most valuable companies.

Apple shares fell 1.77 percent in extended trade after U.S. President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that tariffs could be placed on laptops and mobile phones imported from China.

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There could be more pain ahead for the stock, which could dethrone it from the number-one spot in a more decisive fashion.

Microsoft challenged Apple's title as the most valuable USA company on Monday, as the iPhone maker weathered a slump that drove the tech giant into a recent bear market over concerns related to smartphone sales in the critical holiday season.

Apple has been under pressure since a November 1 earnings announcement when it reported strong jumps in quarterly profits but notched weaker-than-anticipated iPhone sales and a disappointing outlook for the key holiday period.

Rich Ross, a technical analyst at Everscore ISI, said Apple could see another 18 percent slide.

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