Amazon now world's third-most valuable company

Amazon overtakes Microsoft to become world's 3rd most valuable public company

Microsoft was worth $699.2 billion as of the close of trading Wednesday as its shares rose 1.6 percent to $90.81.

Thanks to a sharp rise in its company's shares on Wednesday, Amazon became the world's third most valuable company, overtaking Microsoft for the first time.

With $521.5 billion market cap, Facebook is at the fifth spot. Chicago-based Boeing has a market value of $205 billion.

Amazon is now the third-largest company in the United States. The e-commerce behemoth is now the third-largest company in the USA, behind only Apple ($849.24 billion) and Google parent Alphabet ($744.73 billion), according to Markets Insider data. The Amazon founder passed Gates in October with a net worth of $93.8 billion and his fortune crossed $100 billion for the first time a month later when the holiday shopping season kicked off on Black Friday.

It took Amazon 21 years to close the gap between an upstart online bookseller and one of the world's dominant high-tech firms.

Amazon is working to grab an ever-increasing share of the commerce pie, both online and in brick and mortar retail, and while Microsoft's ever-increasing cloud focus has delighted traders, Amazon has a growing reputation for great execution in whatever area it pursues which has attracted investors despite lack of significant profits. Meanwhile, Google's parent firm Alphabet is in the second spot now valued at $746 billion.

Amazon, which made deep cuts to survive the bursting internet bubble, spent the same period laying the groundwork for its domination of online retail, expanding into new categories of goods and building a logistics network created to speed delivery to consumers.

But Amazon's horizons are broader than Microsoft's, analysts say.

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