Apple set a new all-time closing high on Tuesday, ending the trading session at US$701.91, a gain of $2.129 (+0.30 percent), on light volume of 13.1 million shares trading hands. While the stock crossed the $700 mark during Monday's after-hours session, today was the first time shares in AAPL did so during the regular session.
AAPL Chart for September 18th, 2012
Source: Yahoo! Finance
As you can see in the chart above, the stock danced around Monday's close of $699.78, but settled into positive territory for good during the last two hours of the session.
Crossing the $700 mark has no meaning in and of itself, it's just a nice, round number, but we, as humans, are often fascinated by nice, round numbers, especially when it comes to money. Speaking of nice, if not necessarily round, numbers, Apple's new market cap is $658 billion.
The stock's gains during the last two days have been fueled by the news that Apple had record pre-orders for the iPhone 5. On Monday, the company announced that it had two million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in just the first 24 hours, more than twice the number of pre-orders during the same time period last year for the iPhone 4S, and more than three times as many for the iPhone 4 two years ago.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu raised his estimates for the September quarter to 27 million units because of the iPhone 5, and is estimating $36.6 billion in revenue. He also raised his price target for the stock to $840.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.