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MasterCard passes Union Pacific at No. 47 on S&P 500 large cap list

MasterCard Inc. has overtaken Union Pacific Corp. for the 47th spot in the S&P 500's list of the largest U.S. companies by market capitalization, according to The Online Investor.

MasterCard's market cap now stands at $60.86 billion versus UP's $60.43 billion. Market capitalization provides a true comparison of the value attributed by the stock market to a given company's stock, according to The Online Investor.

"Many beginning investors look at one stock trading at $10 and another trading at $20 and mistakenly think the latter company is worth twice as much — that of course is a completely meaningless comparison without knowing how many shares of each company exist," The Online Investor officials said in an online report. "But comparing market capitalization … creates a true 'apples-to-apples' comparison of the value of two stocks."

Apple Inc. heads the S&P 500's large cap list at $516.47 billion. The list also includes Berkshire Hathaway Inc. at No. 6 ($231.2 billion) and General Electric Co. at No. 7 ($223.78 billion).

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More News from 1/3/2013