Microsoft catches up with Apple's stock market value

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA  AFP  File | Microsoft hit an overall market capitalization of $812.9 billion just ahead of Apple's $812.6 billion

Shares of the iPhone maker have dropped sharply over the past several weeks, and the decline has erased about $300 billion in market capitalization from the company, which crested at a record $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 U.S. company with a $1 trillion valuation. At the same time, shares of Apple rose 0.63 per cent, leaving its stock market value at US$823 billion.

Buoyed by a broad rebound in United States stocks on Monday, Microsoft jumped 3.11 per cent to US$106.28, pushing its market capitalisation up to a record US$816 billion at mid-day.

The famous Apple vs Microsoft has always been one of the heated arguments among fans or enthusiasts.

Furthermore, Bloomberg reports, Microsoft's market cap previously matched Apple's last in 2010, eight years ago. 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.

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Apple has slid amid growing concerns the company is seeing weak demand for iPhones, by far its biggest product line. When he took over in 2014, the executive said he wanted to focus on subscription-based business and the cloud.

However, for a brief moment on Monday, Microsoft surpassed Apple to become the most valuable company in the world.

According to Rich Ross, a technical analyst at Evercore ISI, Apple's stock "has another 18 per cent downside", which could take the stock to $US140.

Earlier, Apple's stock fell, and both companies' market capitalisation were within about US$3 billion of each other, putting them at virtually the same value.

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