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Apple climbs to 17 on Fortune 500 list

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Fortune released the Fortune 500 list for 2012, and Apple is now in the top 20 of the list of the largest U.S. corporations in the #17 spot. That's a vast improvement from last year's ranking at 35.

Apple has a way to go to get into the top five, which is populated by such famous names as Exxon Mobil, Wal-mart Stores, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and General Motors. HP was the top tech business in the list at #10, while perennial Fortune 500 place sitter IBM came in behind Apple in the #19 spot. Somewhere, Steve Jobs must be smiling...

In Fortune's industry grouping for "Computers, Office Equipment", HP took the top spot, Apple the second place, and Dell, Xerox, NCR and Pitney Bowes followed the leaders. In case you're wondering where old arch-rivals Microsoft and Dell showed up, they were at spots 37 and 44 respectively. Intel was out of the top 50 in spot number 51, and Google followed the pack in the #73 spot.

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