Consider it another effect of the oil bust: Google is bigger than Exxon Mobil.
This isn’t a one-session blip. The companies’ ranking by stock market capitalization first switch back in February, and despite a partial recovery in oil prices—prices for West Texas Intermediate oil are up more than 20% since March 17—Exxon’s market value, at $360 billion, still trails that of Google, now at $373 billion. (Of course, Apple makes these market caps look middling in comparison.)
Google and Exxon both are search giants—the latter spent $1.7 billion on energy exploration last year—but the precipitous drop in oil prices these past few months shows that people aren’t looking for what it’s digging up like they used to. The company that once bragged it had enough energy to melt glaciers has seen its market value drip 14% lower in the last year.
Google has pressures, too—it’s losing ground in the ad business to Facebook and facing possible antitrust charges in Europe—but those issues haven’t been as big a drag as the oil collapse has been on Exxon, allowing yet another Silicon Valley firm to displace a blue-chip stock of yesteryear.