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Google stock rises above $500

SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc.'s stock price surpassed $500 for the first time Tuesday, marking another milestone in a rapid rise that has catapulted the Internet search leader into the corporate elite.

Continuing a recent surge driven by Wall Street's high expectations for the company, Google's shares rose $11.38, or 2.3 percent, to $506.43 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

That left Google with a market value of about $155 billion just eight years after former Stanford University graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the business in a Silicon Valley garage.

The Mountain View-based company now ranks as Silicon Valley's second most valuable business, eclipsing the likes of Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, and Hewlett-Packard Co., a high-tech pioneer that also famously started in a garage 67 years ago. With a market value of about $164 billion, networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. is the only Silicon Valley firm worth more.

Google's remarkable success has minted Page and Brin, both 33, as multibillionaires along with their hand-picked chief executive, Eric Schmidt.