New York: Exxon Mobil Corp has reclaimed its place as the largest US publicly traded company by market value one year after losing it to Apple Inc, as shares of the technology giant extended their recent fall on Friday.

Apple's market capitalization has fallen by about USD 250 billion - roughly the total market value of Google Inc - since hitting a high last September, when the stock traded above USD 700.

Apple shares traded as low as USD 435 before closing down 2.4 percent on Friday at USD 439.88, for a market value of roughly USD 413 billion. Exxon shares, up 0.4 percent on the day to USD 91.73, added to a market value of about USD 418.2 billion.

Apple "was clearly a momentum stock. Whenever the numbers behind momentum stocks stop, the momentum players are out and the stock tumbles," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

There was heavy volume in Apple shares as they hit the session low shortly before the closing bell. The stock dropped by as much as USD 7, to USD 435 from USD 442, within the span of 1 second during the last minute of trading.

More than 50 orders were executed on NYSE Arca at USD 435 a share, according to Thomson Reuters time-and-sales data, in blocks as small as 100 shares and as large as 10,494 shares.

No other exchange executed orders at a price lower than USD 438 a share prior to the day's close. After those trades went through, the stock resumed its earlier levels around USD 442 a share before closing at USD 439.88.

Apple shares slid 12.4 percent on Thursday - their biggest percentage drop since late September 2008 - as disappointing holiday-period iPhone sales reinforced fears the company is losing its dominance in smartphones.  

Apple shipped a record 47.8 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 29 percent from a year earlier. But that lagged the 50 million that analysts on average had projected.

"They make great products, expensive products, but as a value investor I'm interested in the unloved stocks, just not the recently unloved ones," Forrest said.

Apple's reign as largest company by market value began in the last week of January 2012, when it surpassed Exxon.


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