What Caused Apple to Pop Today

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You wouldn't know Apple (NAS: AAPL) is a company with a market cap that pushed $550 billion this past week; the company has run up 11% in the past five days alone. Today, more than 50 million shares of Apple traded hands, a total three times its daily trading average over the past three months, and a high enough to make it the second-most-traded Nasdaq security in spite of Cupertino's $600 share price.  

To put that in another context, the total value traded in Apple today was more than 21 times more than the value of Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) shares that were traded! This is in spite of the fact Microsoft is about half Apple's size (which, come to think of it, is an incredible idea to think about on its own)!

But enough about Apple's trading volume;  what's truly important is the fact that the company rose 3.78% on a day when the Nasdaq was up a mere 0.03%. So why did Apple soar? One obvious catalyst was a series of analyst upgrades. A particularly bullish call came from Morgan Stanley, which added the company to its "Best Ideas" list, assigning Apple a price target of $720 while giving a "Bull Case" one-year target of $960 per share!

Could Apple really hit nearly $1,000 per share? I think there's definitely a case to be made. Perhaps not within the year, but Morgan's points about continuing growth in emerging markets and the iPad's continuing penetration into business markets are two of the exact same points I made in an article assuring investors that Apple was still a buy in front of the iPad going on sale.

One final reason for Apple's rise could be linked to more chatter about Apple's TV. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek sent a note to clients on Monday detailing his trip to their Asian supply chain. In the note he highlighted chatter that Apple is making strides toward establishing a supply chain for a future iTV. That Apple is beginning to establish this for Apple TV is no surprise; they clearly understand the opportunity in home entertainment. Instead, the challenge now lies in striking content deals, as other companies like Intel (NAS: INTC) , Microsoft, and Google (NAS: GOOG) have been making their own inroads to court both content companies and cable providers.

As a final point, if you're an Apple investor and looking for more than one way to profit from its rise to becoming the defining technology company of the decade, we've prepared a free report, "3 Hidden Winners of the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution" which details three component plays inside Apple products which are poised for a bright future. To get your own copy of the report, just click here now -- it's free!

At the time this article was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and Google.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and Google; creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft; and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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