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Market Preview: Easy Money Made

That goes double when considering how far some of the more shaky market leaders -- names like Bank of America (BAC), up 79%; Netflix (NFLX), rising 76%; and Sears Holdings (SHLD), soaring 125% -- have run in 2012.

The major U.S. equity indices peaked in late spring last year, eventually being knocked down by Greece's debt problems, the end of QE2 in June, and the repercussions of the U.S. government's game of chicken over the debt ceiling, among other factors. At the very least it makes sense for investors to take a hard look at the fundamentals of the individual stocks they're holding and consider how much upside may be left in the near term.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report), for instance, has the earnings growth to back up its surge. The stock reached a new all-time high of $616.28 on Tuesday, and didn't succumb to the late-day round of selling, finishing up 1.2% at $614.48.

It was ThinkEquity's turn to lift its price target on Apple's stock Tuesday, and the firm went to $700 from a prior expectation of $600, citing the strong launch of the new iPad and excitement about future products like the iPhone 5 and Apple TV. The issues with iPad running hotter than its predecessor were also addressed.

" W e believe it runs 'hotter' due to an older 3G/4G chipset from QCOM ( Qualcomm (QCOM) and also a higher resolution display," ThinkEquity said. "Similar to early concerns around the iPhone4S, we do not believe it will impact the ramp of the new iPad, and we see an intermediate 'fix' in the form of newer 28nm chips from QCOM in 2H12."

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Apple for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

As for Wednesday's scheduled news, Red Hat (RHT - Get Report) is slated to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the closing bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for earnings of 27 cents a share in the February-ended three-month period on revenue of $291.2 million.

Shares of the Raleigh, N.C.-based open source software company, whose products include a Linux-based operating system application, have surged nearly 29% so far in 2012, and the stock hit a new 52-week high of $54.01 on Tuesday before losing 2.3% to close at $51.90.

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