In the latest chapter in Big Oil versus Tech, Exxon Mobil Corp. posted $24.4 billion in operating cash flow for the third quarter thanks to booming commodity prices, pushing the oil giant to the top of the S&P 500 Index, just edging out Apple Inc.

Exxon’s record profit in the period comes after America’s tech giants spent much of the past decade supplanting the oil industry at the top off the index. More than half of S&P 500 companies have reported so far this earnings season.

In Europe, a continent-wide scramble to stash natural gas ahead of winter swelled the prices Exxon received for the fuel by 22%, more than offsetting the pain from a 12% drop in what the company fetched for crude. Shareholders for Big Oil have been demanding higher returns and an end to costly exploration programs, adding to commodity-price pressures.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.