Apple Shares Close Up - TheStreet

Apple Shares Close Up

Amid speculation of an imminent product launch, Apple's stock rallied Monday, following Thursday's record high.
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CUPERTINO, Calif. (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report shares rose Monday after reaching a record high Thursday. The stock's surge is due to speculation that in January, Apple will launch a major product, presumably its highly anticipated tablet computer.

After rallying most of the day, Apple's stock closed at $211.61, up $2.57 or 1.23%, over Thursday's closing price of $209.04. Brokerage firm Thomas Weisel also raised estimates for Apple's fiscal first quarter to $3.55 a share from $3.36, citing strong demand for iPhones and iMacs.

On Wednesday, the

Financial Times

reported that Apple rented space for several days next month at an arts center in San Francisco, possibly signaling that the Cupertino, Calif., electronics company is preparing for a big announcement. While Apple hasn't officially confirmed plans for a tablet, the anticipation of an iPad has

captivated the imagination

of enthusiasts and

sparked debates

among fans and investors for more than a year, as they eagerly await a new blockbuster Apple device.

With the

Amazon

(

AMZN Quote

)

Kindle in its sights,

Apple is believed to be preparing to start production

of a 10-inch touchscreen e-book with the first model expected to arrive as early as March,

Oppenheimer

analyst Yair Reiner said earlier this month, citing information from suppliers. The report confirmed earlier

rumors

that suppliers were gearing up for a February kickoff of the

Apple tablet

.

Apple, known for its grandiose product launches, is also well-known for closely guarding plans and announcements of its new tech tools. Rumors continue to swirl around the tablet's official name; last week, Apple watchdog

MacRumors.com

reported that Apple had acquired domain name iSlate.com, while

BusinessWeek

noted that Apple controls the trademark name TabletMac, which it took over from company

Axiotron

in November 2008.

--

Written by Maggie Overfelt in New York

.