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Apple Soars

A rally in Apple (AAPL) shares helped the company recover some market value it had lost during a multiday selloff in tech stocks that exposed the volatility of tech's highfliers.

Apple shares were recently trading up $15.22, nearly 10%, to $168.98. Shares are still well below their 52-week high of $191.79 reached last Tuesday before losing 20% of their value in the next four trading sessions.

Apple led a tech rally that included other tech stocks such as Google (GOOG), VMware (VMW) and Research In Motion (RIMM), whose shares also suffered steep losses after the rout in tech stocks that started last week.

Buyers may be stepping into the market to pick up shares that look more attractively priced. At their 52-week high, Apple shares, for example, were trading at over 38 times analysts' consensus estimate of the company's 2008 earnings per share, according to Thomson Financial. At the current share price, that ratio has fallen to the low 30s.

"Apple is going to be a battleground, and day-to-day swings can be vicious," said Darren Chervitz, research director for the $102 million Jacob Internet Fund. The fund has currently holds 16,000 Apple shares, down from 40,000 in May.

Part of the Jacob fund's decision to sell Apple shares stems from portfolio management. As the value of Apple shares surged, the fund has sold some shares to lock in profits and reduce its concentration in a single stock.

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