Shares of Apple Inc. closed at an eight-month high on Monday, ending the day at US$507.74, a gain of $5.41 (+1.08 percent), on strong volume of 18.2 million shares trading hands. The stock has been buoyed by a mix of rumors and high-profile activist investor Carl Icahn's public declaration of taking a stake in Apple.
This is the highest Apple's stock has been since January 23rd, when $AAPL closed at $514.01. On January 24th, $AAPL dropped more than 12 percent to close at $450.50. Apple's record closing high remains at $702.10, set on September 19th, 2012.
$AAPL 12-Month Chart
Source: Yahoo! Finance
Apple's stock was first goosed by a $50 million tweet from Carl Icahn announcing that he had taken a large stake in Apple. That tweet grabbed Wall Street's interest and sent it up more than $22 per share that day alone, and the stock has continued to rise since.
We currently have a large position in APPLE. We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come.— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) August 13, 2013
The $50 million figure is derived from reports that his definition of a large stake was more than a billion dollars, or somewhere around $2.5 million shares. If you prefer to measure your gains by Apple's total market share, that figure is about $20 billion.
The other propellant for Apple's stock has been a steady deluge of iPhone-related leaks. Images of a low-cost iPhone 5C with different colored plastic backs, an iPhone 5S, and now a gold-anodized (think "champagne") iPhone 5S have got everyone atwitter.
Plus, Apple is rumored to be planning a media event on September 10th, earlier in the 3rd quarter than anyone had expected, which means a better 3rd quarter than those same people expected.
Take all of those rumors, mix in the Icahn Lift, and you get a delicious recipe to delight investors, and that's what's happening to Apple's stock.
*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.