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Waxing Poetic on Apple

Shares of Apple Computer (AAPL) pushed further into record territory Monday, boosted by a pair of favorable reports from Wall Street analysts.

Caris analyst Mark Stahlman upgraded Apple's shares to above average from average in a report Monday, saying the company will soon roll out a series of upgraded computers and other products. While other computer makers have had trouble garnering interest for their high-end offerings, Apple's updated computers will likely stand out, he said in a research note.

"Apple is, in many ways, the ultimate 'upsell,' ... potentially more attractive than ever to leading-edge customers," Stahlman said in his note. "Apple's value proposition continues to steadily improve in a highly dynamic marketplace." Stahlman's firm hasn't done recent investment banking business for Apple.

Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster left his outperform rating on Apple unchanged and named the company his top large-stock pick for the rest of the year. Munster said the company should exceed its conservative guidance for the September quarter, and the analyst added that new products and share gains should spur future sales and earnings growth.

"Apple's domination in digital music is a critical piece to the story, but ... we expect iPod to continue to be a foundation for growth in other parts of Apple's business," Munster said in a research report. Piper Jaffray hasn't done any recent investment banking business for Apple.

In recent trading, Apple shares were up $1.68, or 3.6%, to $47.78. The stock was up as much as $2.23 to $48.33 earlier in the session.

The move marked the second straight session in record territory for Apple. On Friday, the company's stock reached a record high amid rumors that the company will soon launch a music site with Google (GOOG) and speculation that the company's Macintosh line is taking market share from PC leader Dell (DELL).

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