In recent weeks, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has firmly established its market capitalization leadership among the companies of the S&P 500. It has surged past ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) into the No. 1 position by a considerable margin. Surprisingly, the crowning of a new market cap leader is far more unusual than you might think.
There have been only 11 distinct leaders since 1926, which makes the emergence of a new one about as frequent as an American war (we've had around 10 of those since then, by my count).