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AAPL After Hours: All-Time High Is Around The Corner

Apple stock had a strong day of performance on November 17, and is now $3 per share away from the peak. Here is what investors should keep in mind.

On Wednesday, November 17, Apple stock  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report climbed nearly 2% to end the trading session valued at about $154 per share, backed by the heaviest trading volume of the month so far. This is the highest that the stock has reached since early September 2021, when the current all-time high of $156.46 was set.

Below are a few factors that may be driving bullishness, and what AAPL investors should expect of the stock next.

Hand holding Apple's iPhone, blank background.

The iPhone

Why so bullish?

Apple stock's 1.7% climb on Wednesday was much better than the return of the S&P 500, at a modest loss of 0.3%. Interestingly enough, despite AAPL's strong performance, it was not easy to pinpoint one single cause for the outsized single-day gain.

Maybe the company's announcement of the Self Service Repair program, to be launched in 2022, had something to do with it. By effectively outsourcing simple services to users, Apple might be able to simplify its service and cost structure.

However, I doubt that this piece of news alone was responsible for creating $40 billion in market value. Instead, I bet that bullishness has been merely a reflection of recent skepticism over the company's ability to perform in the near term phasing out.

I have recently talked about two sell-side reports that support the bull thesis on Apple shares. Wedbush has just called for the best holiday season in the history of the iPhone, with the segment possibly delivering over $70 billion in revenues in only about three months.

Just a day earlier, Morgan Stanley put Apple at the center of the metaverse opportunity. According to the research shop, the real catalyst in this important growth story "comes if or when Apple enters the space".

What to expect of AAPL

The Apple Maven remains bullish on Apple stock. With valuations having dipped since reaching a 12-month high in early September, shares have become more affordable than some believe them to be.

That said, and as the all-time high lurks around the corner, investors should set the right expectations. Near peaks, AAPL tends to suffer less from volatility. However, forward one-year returns also tend to be lower than when the stock is bought after a sharp selloff.