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Best Apple run since 2003 brings $3 tn in focus, harking back to pre-iPhone times when Nokia ruled

Apple Inc. shares rose, with the company on track for its longest streak of daily gains since 2003, when the iPhone hadn’t even launched and Nokia ruled the world.

By: BLOOMBERG
Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:09 IST
With the milestone of longest streak of daily gains since 2003 in mind, Apple Inc. shares rose again on Tuesday. Back when Apple started this streak, the first iPhone had not even hit the market. (REUTERS)

Apple Inc. shares rose on Tuesday, with the company on track for its longest streak of daily gains since 2003, when the iPhone hadn’t even launched and Nokia Oyj was still one of the top cellphone makers in the world.

Shares in the world’s largest company rose 1.4% for an 11th straight positive trading day -- a rare feat in its 41-year stock market history, and one that has erased all of its year-to-date losses. It has added nearly $430 billion in market value over the advance, bigger than the size of Walmart Inc. Stocks are broadly higher on hopes for progress in cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine.

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The move is part of a broad recent rebound for megacap technology and internet stocks, which have bounced back after a dismal start to 2022. Amazon.com shares turned positive for 2022 on Monday, and Alphabet Inc. has also recovered much of its own year-to-date decline. Investors have gravitated toward big tech as a reliable place for growth amid an uncertain economic backdrop.

“The selloff got overdone, and took these big tech names down to levels that were very attractive,” said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors. “Apple is a very strong and dynamic growth company, and it remains at the better end of the pack in terms of its valuation.”

As a measure of the company’s positive fundamentals, Apple has seen its earnings estimates being upgraded by 7.2% this year by analysts, much faster than other stocks in the Faang group. Shares have also managed to dodge a Nikkei report about production cuts, leaving the stock less than 1% away from covering 2022 losses and within striking distance of a $3 trillion market value.

Among the other Nasdaq 100 bellwethers, Amazon rose 0.6% on Tuesday, while Alphabet and Microsoft both gained 1%.

The rally in big tech even as 10-year Treasury yields reached 2.5% has left some investors scratching their heads. Lisa Shalett, chief investment officer of Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley, wrote that the advance in the teach-heavy Nasdaq 100 has been “confounding,” as it comes at a time of higher interest rates as the Federal Reserve takes steps to fight inflation.

For sales trader Jim Dixon at Mirabaud Securities, it’s the mom-and-pop investors behind Apple’s rally. “Quite remarkable for a company trading on more than 28x forward earnings in a rising rates environments with supply chain issues/inflation,” he said.

Dixon also pointed to the implied volatility of the stock, which is at a discount to realized, commenting that “investors are effectively saying that it is smooth sailing going forward.”

What’s more, on Sunday Apple bagged Best Picture Oscar for “CODA,” becoming the first streaming service to win Hollywood’s top award, beating out streaming pioneer Netflix Inc.

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First Published Date: 29 Mar, 23:03 IST
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