AAPL Closes Higher on iPad Numbers & Analyst Comments

Shares in Apple Inc. traded higher Tuesday after the company announced over the Memorial Day weekend that it had sold more than two million iPads in the first 58 days of availability. The stock closed at US$260.83, up $3.95 (+1.54%), on moderate volume of 31.2 million shares trading hands.

The stock had traded as high as $265.94 in afternoon trading, but gave up some of those gains in the last 90 minutes of trading. All told, the stock has gained almost $19 per share since May 20th, but is still under its record closing high of $270.83 set April 23rd of this year.

Today’s gains for AAPL were sparked by Apple’s opening iPad sales numbers, as well as positive comments from UBS analyst Maynard Um and BroadPoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall.

Other tech stocks didn’t fare as well, however, as traders punished HP for announcing a layoff of 9,000 workers in its data center operations, though 6,000 of those job losses would be offset by hired in its Enterprise division. Concerns about BP’s failure to stop the Gulf oil leak also spooked investors.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.