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Microsoft overtakes Amazon to be the second most valuable US company, Apple tops the list

Microsoft`s market capitalisation was Wall Street`s highest in late 1998 through early 2000 before the dot-com bubble burst. 

Microsoft overtakes Amazon to be the second most valuable US company, Apple tops the list

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft Corp regained its spot as the second most valuable US company on Friday after a disappointing quarterly report from Amazon.com wiped $65 billion off the online retailer`s market capitalisation.

Apple Inc tops the list at over $1 trillion after crossing that threshold in September. Microsoft`s market capitalisation was Wall Street`s highest in late 1998 through early 2000 before the dot-com bubble burst. 

Amazon's shares dropped 7 percent, the most in nearly three years after its holiday season sales outlook missed targets, fanning concerns that Wall Street`s tech darlings are finally starting to face stronger competition.

Microsoft fell a more modest 1.1 percent in a broad technology sell-off that was also driven by a weaker-than-expected report from Google-parent Alphabet Inc, leaving the Nasdaq composite index down 1.9 percent late Friday afternoon.

Shares of Microsoft remain up nearly 4 percent from Wednesday, when the four-decade-old software company beat quarterly profit expectations, driven by its cloud computing business that competes with Amazon`s.

Its stock market value on Friday stood at $823 billion, on track to close above Amazon`s for the first time since April, when it gave up its spot as second largest company by market capitalization.

Amazon was worth $805 billion on Friday, after falling below Microsoft`s in extended trade on Thursday. The drop was equivalent to the combined values of Target Corp and Corning Inc. 

Amazon`s tumble left it up around 40 percent year to date, while Microsoft has gained about 25 percent in 2018. On Wednesday, Amazon`s stock traded at the equivalent of 70 times expected earnings, its lowest level since 2011.

The average analyst price target for Microsoft puts its market cap at $963 billion, while the average price target for Amazon values it at $1.068 trillion. Apple will report quarterly results on November 1