It's iPhone season. If history is any indication, Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report is just weeks away from unveiling next-generation smartphone, a device that's widely expected to show off major design and technology enhancements for the iPhone's 10th anniversary.
In afternoon trading, shares are at $159.87, up $ 2.40, about $34 above their 52-week high. If shares adds another $34, at $193.43 the stock would hit its $1 trillion mark.
Apple is expected to show off the new device in a keynote early September. Monday Foxconn production line videos were leaked to Chinese microblogging website Weibo, potentially giving Apple enthusiasts the first-ever live look at iPhone 8 production in progress.
The current iteration of rumors has the next-gen iPhone sporting an edge-to-edge display, wireless charging, facial recognition, no physical home button, and the highest price tag ever for an Apple smartphone -- as high as $1,000. If those rumors are true, the iPhone 8 could be a revenue behemoth for Apple, a hunch that's confirmed by a recent slowdown in current-generation device sales as consumers wait for the new phone.
Most importantly for Apple investors, the iPhone 8 could be the catalyst Apple needs to crack the $1 trillion market capitalization milestone.
The iPhone has some help. That's because Apple is barreling toward September with a bullish price trajectory to begin with.
To figure out where shares are headed next, we're turning to the charts for a fresh technical look at what's happening in Apple's price action right now:
Apple has been a momentum powerhouse all year long, rallying more than 37% since the calendar flipped to January. But the price action could be about to accelerate thanks to a bullish breakout pattern that triggered a buy at the beginning of this month.
Between March and July, Apple had been forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish continuation pattern that signaled more upside ahead for shares. The pattern was formed by horizontal resistance above shares up at $155, with uptrending support to the downside. AAPL triggered that buy signal following solid third-quarter earnings on Aug. 1, pushing above $155, and holding that $155 line in the sand even as the tech sector corrected hard last week.
That ability to hold $155 in the face of selling is called a "throwback" -- it provides an important piece of confirmation that Apple's $155 breakout is material and that buyers are very much in control of shares right now.
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Another piece of confirmation comes from Apple's relative strength line, down at the bottom of its chart. Relative strength measures Apple's performance vs. the rest of the market -- the uptrend in this crucial indicator signals that Apple is continuing to outperform at this point.
With shares finally above the price ceiling they'd faced at $155, shares have plenty of room to run higher at the exact same time investors gear up for the iPhone 8 release. That's a powerful combination for anyone who owns shares of AAPL right now -- investors would do well to keep a close eye on this stock in the sessions ahead.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.