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The Fortune 500 is an annual list of the largest corporations in the US, based on their gross revenue. The list was first published in 1955, giving a snapshot of Americas commercial progress, where the money has gone and how its moved to new industries over time.

Over the years, to be included in the Fortune 500 has been considered as a mark of prestige for American companies. The long-held repute of the list also makes the Fortune 500 the most renowned ranking of corporations, ahead of similar lists such as theFortune Global 500or theForbes Global 2000.

Since its inception, only three companies have ever held the No. 1 spot on the list: General Motors, Walmart and ExxonMobil. More than 2,000 companies have been featured on the Fortune 500 since, though only 57 original Fortune 500 companies have been on the list every year.

The current list was published on July 9, 2013 ranking companies by their total revenues for the respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2013. The revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations, but exclude excise taxes.

In total, the 500 companies on the list saw revenues increase by 2.7 percent this year to over $12.063 trillion, though profits were down by 0.5 percent to $820 billion. Based on their revenue alone, the 500 companies would be the second largest economy in the world, only behind the US economy itself and surpassing even China.

Notably, the financial sector showed the highest growth in profits year-over-year at 33.5 percent demonstrating the gradual recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile energy companies continue to dominate the list (making up four out of the top ten), though they have seen their profits decline by 6.7 percent this year.

Check out the 2013 list of the Fortune 500s top 100 companies below, or browse all the companies, by alphabetical order, at the bottom of this article:

Nouriel Roubini, a.k.a. Doctor Doom, is chairman of Roubini Global Economics and professor of economics at New York Universitys Stern School of Business. Roubini has been consistently cited as one of the worlds top global thinkers. This year, he was voted as the most influential economist in the world by Forbes magazine.

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Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a finance professor at Peking Universitys Guanghua School of Management.

Analysis of economics, politics and public policy in East Asia and the Pacific.

QFINANCE is a unique collaboration of more than 300 of the worlds leading practitioners and visionaries in finance and financial management, covering key aspects of finance including risk and cash-flow management, operations, macro issues, regulation, auditing, and raising capital.

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