5 brands that soared

1 Apple
Thanks to the hugely successful launch of the iPhone and introduction of the iPod Touch, Apple continued to be a darling of Wall Street, with its stock prices reaching an all-time company high of $192 a share.

The celebrity Web site separated itself from the pack this year by launching a TV show. It also continued to break a number of stories about celebrity breakdowns, divorces, and deaths.

3 Nintendo
The launch of the still hard-to-find Wii gaming system at the end of 2006 set Nintendo up for an all but can't miss opportunity to have a wonderful 2007. It didn't miss.

4 Wal-Mart
Aside from its usual financial dominance, the retail giant also won a slight reprieve from critics by concentrating on its environmental program to reduce waste and promote sustainability - one that has served as a model for the rest of big industry.

5 Facebook
The social networking site hit its stride this year, becoming a must-join among business people. It was able to address users' concerns about privacy swiftly and managed to preserve its loyal following, as well as snag a $240 million investment from Microsoft.

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