It’s official: Apple is in positive territory for the year

Shares have bounced 42 percent since hitting a low in April

By Benzinga Dec 2, 2013 11:39AM

The Apple logo is seen at a Apple store in Munich (© Johannes Simon/Getty Images)By Tim Parker

If December is kind to Apple (AAPL), the stock will likely end 2013 in positive territory.

The stock has been on a tear of late, and while everybody waited for this to be the normal bull trap, Apple has continued higher much to the delight of long-term holders and those brave enough to play the latest momentum rally.

The stock ended Friday’s half-day trading session at $556.07—up about 1.85 percent on the day and 5.7 percent in the past month. For the year, Apple is now about $2 above its opening bid of $553.82 on the first day of trading of this year. The stock reached a low of $390.53 in April meaning that anybody who bought on that day is now up about 42 percent since then.

But what’s with the rally that has the stock up about eight percent since it began? 

Anybody in the know will tell you that Apple is largely moved by institutional investors but if that’s the case, what has them bidding the stock up?

One theory is that the deal with China Mobile (CHL) is finally happening and possibly as early as December 18, iPhones may become available to China Mobile subscribers but that rumor, released by China state media, was announced after the rally began.

There’s also the increasing optimism that Apple broke its cycle of underwhelming product updates with it’s recent round of iPhones and iPads. All of its recent products continue to receive positive reviews along with sales numbers that indicate customers are purchasing en masse.

Further, the increasing optimism that the Christmas season is going to be strong for the company.

Further down the list, the string of patent lawsuits. Apple’s battles with Samsung (SSNLF) may be entering a quiet period with Apple winning the last round or it’s recent announcement of tweaking its supply chain by purchasing raw materials for its overseas manufacturers. This will increase the company’s margins incrementally.

The takeaway may be that the string of news surrounding the company is overwhelmingly positive instead of a string of negatively as it was during the first half of the year.

Or maybe Carl Icahn is secretly buying millions of shares and will soon go after three board seats and write a series of open letters to the existing board.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.

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