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Apple 'most valuable US company'

Apple has surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in the US, according to new figures.

The electronics giant's stock gained 3.2%, rising to just over 364 dollars (£222) on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the iPhone and iPad maker's market capitalisation to about 338 billion dollars.

Exxon Mobil shares, meanwhile, were trading at 69 dollars 45c, (£42), down nearly 1%. That gives the oil company a market cap of 337.7 billion dollars (£205 billion).

Other big-name corporations, such as Wal-Mart and General Electric, do not even come close to this performance.

Apple has been on a roll with the soaring popularity of its iPad tablet computer and strong sales of the iPhone. Investors expect Apple to grow as long as it keeps making products that people want.

Exxon has limited growth prospects, driven by fluctuating oil prices and the discovery of new oil.

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