Only one of the world’s biggest firms of 2000 is still in the top 10 today

Apple made history as the world’s first $3 trillion company but how have the big cap firms changed over the past 40+ years?

A new report from City Index looks back at the top 10 firms by market cap in 2000 and 1980 to highlight how the stock market has changed over the past half century.

Just one of the firms that were in the elite list in 2000 (including some that were also there 20 years’ earlier) are still among the biggest in 2023 – and it’s not Apple.

Technology has played a major role in the markets for decades, but its dominance today is obvious with the industry taking seven of the top 10 spots by market cap:

  1. Apple (Technology) – $3,030B
  2. Microsoft (Technology) – $2,510B
  3. Saudi Aramco (Oil & Gas) – $2,080B
  4. Alphabet (Technology) – $1,520B
  5. Amazon (Technology/Retail) – $1,340B
  6. NVIDIA (Technology) – $1,050B
  7. Tesla (Automotive) – $887B
  8. Berkshire Hathaway (Diversified) – $753B
  9. Meta (Technology) – $733B
  10. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (Technology) – $535B

Apple was founded in 1976 and went public in 1980, replacing ExxonMobil as the world’s most valuable company for the first time in 2011 with a value of $350 billion.

TOP 10 IN 2000

The only firm to appear in both the 2000 and 2023 top 10s is Microsoft, the second-biggest company in 2023 with a market cap of $2.51 trillion and was also the world’s most valuable company in 2000 at $586 billion. Adjusted for inflation, the firm has tripled its market cap over the past 23 years.

The top 10 by market cap in 2000 were:

  1. Microsoft (Technology) – $586B
  2. General Electric (Diversified) – $477B
  3. Cisco (Technology) – $366B
  4. Walmart (Retail) – $260B
  5. Exxon Mobil (Oil & Gas) – $260B
  6. Intel (Technology) – $251B
  7. NTT Docomo (Telecommunications) – $246B
  8. Royal Dutch Shell (Oil & Gas) – $203B
  9. Pfizer (Pharmaceuticals) – $202B
  10. Nokia (Technology) – $186B

Technology was dominant in 2000, but not quite as much as today. Half of the top 10 were from the industry.

TOP 10 IN 1980

Forty years ago, things were very different to how they have been in the 21st century according to the City Index data.

Although technology led the top 10 with IBM’s $35B market cap taking the top spot, oil and gas was the dominant sector with six of the companies in the list:

  1. IBM (Technology) – $35B
  2. AT&T (Telecommunications) – $33B
  3. Exxon (Oil & Gas) – $33B
  4. Standard Oil (Oil & Gas) – $21B
  5. Shell (Oil & Gas) – $20B
  6. Mobil (Oil & Gas) – $19B
  7. General Motors (Automotive) – $19B
  8. Texaco (Oil & Gas) – $19B
  9. DuPont (Chemicals) – $16B
  10. Gulf Oil (Oil & Gas) – $15B

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