Is Apple Headed for $600?

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock recently set a new high for the year when it topped $550 in early Friday morning trading. The previous high for 2013 was set on January 2 when the stock hit $549.03. Although Apple may not rise to the $700-plus levels that were seen in September 2012, there are several tailwinds that indicate that the stock may be heading even closer to $600.

Interestingly, the recent stock movement occurred in the middle of Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. This suggests that investors are fairly optimistic about Apple’s ongoing holiday season sales. Although a recent consumer survey conducted by the American Research Group suggested that shoppers were planning on spending less this year, the popularity of Apple’s most recently released devices may help the California-based company to buck the declining consumer spending trend.

For example, a Consumer Electronics Association Pre-Black Friday Survey cited by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White showed “31 percent of U.S. adult shoppers plan to purchase consumer electronics over the weekend.” Furthermore, “The most sought after item is expected to be tablet computers.” The recent introduction of the 9.7-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display gives Apple new competitive entries in both the full-size and compact tablet markets. Both of these devices will likely further boost Apple’s December quarter sales and overall investor confidence in the company.