A couple of big ships are passing each other again. When it comes to the country's most valuable company by market cap, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) overtook Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) by the end of the week.

There wasn't anything that ExxonMobil did. The gas and oil giant merely paddled 0.6% higher with the general market. Its big day comes on Friday, when it pulls into the dock for its latest quarterly report.

As everyone within earshot of the market knows, it was Apple that buckled this week. A sloppy earnings report and an even more ominous near-term outlook spooked investors, sending Apple's stock 12% lower on the week.

As of Friday's close, ExxonMobil is now worth a few billion dollars more than Apple, and that's by market cap. ExxonMobil is worth far more if we go by enterprise value.

The two companies have similar valuations these days. They're both trading for just shy of 10 times trailing earnings. Their yields are even similar. ExxonMobil's yielding 2.5%, and Apple is now at an all-time high of 2.4%.

The irony is that analysts see Apple continuing to grow, while ExxonMobil's expected to continue to post year-over-year declines on the top line.

BUt why crash ExxonMobil's party? Let's just rain on one megacap at a time.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Citigroup analyst Kevin Dennean is slapping Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) with a neutral rating. Don't go away angry. That's actually good news. Wednesday's move was an upgrade from Citi's earlier sell rating.
  • Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is temporarily suspending its dividend. That's bad news for investors counting on what previously was a nice 5.5% yield. Why is a company with billions in the bank preserving its capital? There'd better not be any sugarcoating this move as a response to the higher 2013 tax rate.
  • Shares of Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SNBR) tumbled 18% on Friday. The maker of the Sleep Number adjustable air-chambered mattress missed Wall Street's profit targets and offered up a troubling outlook. I guess investors won't be getting a good night's sleep.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.