Apple Shares Move Past $700

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple ( AAPL) moved above $700 in regular trading Tuesday, following through on strength seen in Monday's extended session.

The stock touched a new all-time high of $701.44 in morning action as investors continued to focus on robust pre-orders for the iPhone 5. Before Monday's open, Apple announced it had received 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours of the phone's availability this past Friday.

At last check, the shares were up 29 cents, or 0.04%, at $700.07.

Apple said Monday demand for the iPhone 5 had exceeded the initial supply, and that while the majority of pre-orders will arrive to customers on Sept. 21, many others are now scheduled for delivery in October.

On Tuesday, Sterne Agee was the latest sell-side firm to lift its price target for Apple shares, going to $840 from $820 while keeping a buy rating.

"We continue to believe many underestimate iPhone 5 in that it is a significant update and will drive a powerful product cycle," the firm wrote, adding later: "We continue to believe iPhone 5 will put a lot of pressure on competitors where it will incrementally capture a portion of customers attracted to Android/Windows smart phones with larger screens and/or 4G LTE wireless."

Shares of Apple have appreciated nearly 73% so far in 2012 as the company has continued to innovate in product development, seen a smooth leadership transition with Tim Cook as CEO and weathered a pair of rare earnings shortfalls.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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