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A Mobil gas station is seen in Medford, Massachusetts.
Reuters/Brian Snyder
The view from below.
SLIPPERY SLOPES

Amazon is now bigger than Exxon Mobil

By Melvin Backman

The year-long slump in oil prices has countless victims, and Exxon Mobil is certainly among them. The oil giant lost its spot among the five biggest US companies by market cap to Amazon on Tuesday (Dec. 8). At a market value of $318 billion (to Exxon’s $311 billion), the e-commerce giant is now only smaller than Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway.

While Exxon shares have fallen 19% year to date, Amazon has been the second-best performing stock over the same time, its 118% rise bested only by Netflix’s 160% surge. Investors love Amazon even if it sacrifices consistent profits in the name of huge growth. It’s that growth that pushed its value passed fellow retail giant Walmart earlier this year.

Amazon’s ascent took about 18 years, but it would likely have taken much longer had crude not dragged Exxon’s profits and stock down so drastically.