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Apple Shares Still Riding a Wave

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) shares are climbing in pre-market trading on Tuesday, as the iPhone maker rides an ongoing wave of positive Wall Street sentiment.

The consumer tech giant's shares gained $9.01, or 1.46%, to reach $627.64 before market open, continuing its recent momentum. Apple's stock, which has hit a series of new all-time highs, closed at $618.63 on Monday.

Tim Cook, Apple's CEO

The stock's technicals suggest that this trend will continue. Apple's 50-day moving average crossed above its 200-day moving average shortly after market open on Monday. This event, which is known as the Golden Cross, typically signifies bullish activity in a stock.

Basking in the glow of analyst price target hikes and a successful new iPad launch, Apple shares have climbed more than 52% this year, far outpacing the Nasdaq's gain of almost 20%.

Piper Jaffray was the latest firm to up the ante for Apple on Tuesday, lifting its price target on the stock to $910 from $718 and saying the company will be the first one to garner a $1 trillion market cap.

"We believe shares of AAPL will reach $1,000 in CY14, which would imply a roughly 1 trillion dollar market cap, the first in history," the firm said. "While some investors believe the biggest issue for AAPL to get to $1,000 is the market cap along with excessive investor exuberance, which we address in this note, we believe the real story is earnings growth. Fundamentally, we believe shares can reach $1,000 based on our belief Apple will continue to win in global mobile devices."

JPMorgan (JPM) was also feeding bullishness on Tuesday, raising its Apple price target to $715 from $625 because of better-than-expected sales activity for the iPhone and iPad.

Piper's $1,000 call comes after analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets initiated coverage of Apple on Monday with a buy rating and a $1,001 price target on Monday, explaining that "Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world and we see no end in sight to this trend."

Apple's new iPad topped Consumer Reports' latest tablet ratings on Monday, thanks to its crisp performance and impressive high-resolution display.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm will report its fiscal second-quarter results on April 24.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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