Apple passes Microsoft's market value — for real!

It’s time to load up Google Finance on your screen and leave it running. Shares of Apple on the Nasdaq stock exchange are, just this second, valued at $226.92 billion and climbing. Microsoft, long the most-valued tech company and second only to ExxonMobil on Wall Street, is valued at $226.46 billion and dropping.

Apple has been climbing since February, and Microsoft has been falling since mid-April. It’s likely the two will trade places a few times going forward, but most likely Apple fans at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 7 will be able to high-five each other over the Nasdaq, instead of sulking over the economy.

It’s no coincidence that Apple is now the target of at least three investigations by federal regulators at the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

Apple already passed Microsoft on the Standard & Poor index, which only values “float-adjusted” shares that are available for trading.

Business Insider editor Henry Blodget this morning claimed that “Apple is worth more than Microsoft,” but quickly added an asterisk to his headline. Blodget had used the calculated “enterprise value” of each company’s business from Yahoo Finance, which omits each company’s cash holdings. And then admitted he’d screwed up on counting Apple’s cash. He used to be a Wall Street analyst.

Most stock watchers consider the full Nasdaq market capitalization to be the number that matters. Google News runs Nasdaq share prices on a 20-minute delay. It’s days like these we wish we had a Bloomberg terminal.