It was a great day on the market for Google— the Internet giant's stock reached an all-time high of $765.00 before settling in at $761.78 at the end of trading. Google closed the day with a market capitalization of $249.1 billion, which makes it America's third most valuable company after Apple and Exxon Mobil. Previously holding that title was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (market cap: $248.9 billion).

Google also passed up one of its major rivals in tech, Microsoft, for the first time. The victory marks something of a changing of the guard in the industry as Microsoft, which made its name making software for PCs, is supplanted by Google, which made its name building software for the Web.

This has been a banner year for Google, whose ad business and mobile footprint continue to grow.

[via Mashable]