Thursday, April 8, was yet another outstanding day of performance for Apple stock. Shares of the Cupertino company climbed nearly 2% to close the trading session above $130 apiece for the first time since February 2021.
This was the sixth consecutive day of positive returns for AAPL since March 30, when shares were valued at $119.90. Since then, Apple stock climbed about 9% in just over one week, trimming some (but arguably not all) of the upside opportunity that the Apple Maven saw in the stock about one month ago.
What could have spoiled the fun?
Apple's Thursday run could have been derailed by news of a MacBook and iPad production hiccup caused by a chip shortage. Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday that Apple had to delay some component orders until the second half of the year.
A pushback in production could mean backorders and delayed sales of Apple's laptops and tablets. This is bad news, since the Cupertino company has such a high bar to overcome in 2021 to beat tough pandemic-year comps in both segments.
Also, and never a bullish topic of conversation, Apple's battle with Epic Games continued on April 8. The App Store gatekeeper explained to a federal court in California why it does not have monopolistic powers in the gaming app space, an argument that Epic Games does not buy.
Despite the above, Apple shares still found plenty of room to climb, alongside (and even more so than) the rest of the US stock market.
What drove Apple stock higher?
In my view, Apple stock marched forward primarily due to the following reasons:
- The jobless claims report for the most recent week came in above consensus and the previous week's levels. While this could have been perceived as a bad sign for the economy, tech stocks like Apple benefited from the implied belief that a wobbly recovery favors growth investing. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell echoed the sentiment by calling the global recovery "uneven and incomplete”, and by reinforcing his commitment to monetary easing.
- At least two Wall Street research notes were published in the morning of April 8 (Needham and Piper Sandler), and both carried a bullish tone towards Apple's fiscal second quarter. This is very much in line with the idea recently shared by the Apple Maven that earnings preview reports will likely be upbeat. A sequence of them being released in the next three weeks could push Apple stock even higher.
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(Disclaimers: this is not investment advice. The author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)