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Apple closes at new all-time high as world's largest company

Shares of Apple rose nearly 3 percent Monday to close at a new all-time high of $411.63, padding the electronic giant’s lead over Exxon Mobile as the world’s most valuable company.

Apple’s previous high came on July 26 of this year when the stock hit $403.41 per share.

With Monday’s $11.13 gain, the Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker retains its title as the world’s largest company by market capitalization, outpacing the former crown holder Exxon Mobil Corporation by $23 billion.

Since Apple overtook the energy giant in August, its market cap has grown by more than $44 billion and now stands at $382.01 billion compared to Exxon’s $358.34 billion.

Though some had expected a sell-off after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs resigned as the company's CEO in late August, shares of the company have actually risen more than 10 percent since then. Wall Street analysts suggested that Jobs' resignation had already been priced into the stock. Investors have compared Jobs to business magnates Henry Ford and Walt Disney, whose companies successfully carried on their legacies long after they stepped down.

The rise also comes amid growing anticipation that the electronics maker is on the verge of introducing the iPhone 5, widely expected to hit the market around mid-October.

AAPL trading prices from Monday. Chart via Google.

Last quarter, Apple shipped a record 20.34 million iPhones, accounting for 46 percent of the company’s revenue. One analyst recently told AppleInsider that Apple plans to build 30 million iPhone 5s in the fourth quarter of calendar 2011.

Apple’s growth comes as U.S. markets took a moderate downturn Monday, due to investors shedding risky assets while Greek officials held a conference call with foreign creditors over their looming debt crisis, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the NASDAQ closed down .36 percent while the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both fell .94 and .98 percent respectively.