'iWatch' Trademark & Raymond James Upgrade Push $AAPL Up 3.2%

Apple's stock jumped more than 3 percent Monday, helped by news that the company filed for a trademark for "iWatch" in Japan and an upgrade from Raymond James Equity Research. Shares of $AAPL closed at US$409.22, a gain of $12.69 (+3.20 percent), on moderate volume of 14 million shares trading hands.

$AAPL Chart

$AAPL Chart for July 1st, 2013
Source: Yahoo! Finance

News broke Monday morning that Apple filed for a trademark on "iWatch" in Japan in the early part of June. That refueled speculation that the company is planning to release a wearable computing device in a watch form factor, a story that has enjoyed considerable press attention for much of the last year.

Also on Monday, Apple bull Tavis McCourt of Raymond James Equity Research issued an upgrade on Apple's stock to a "Strong Buy" from "Outperform." The analyst maintained his price target of $600.

"We are upgrading our rating on shares of AAPL from outperform to strong buy based on valuation and our belief that near-term financial trends will stabilize and then improve following the June quarter," Mr. McCourt said in a report.

He raised his iPhone shipment estimates for the June quarter to 28 million units, up from 27 million units. He said that carrier promotions had increased demand for the device.

The two bits of news cheered investors, who drove $AAPL higher. Also helping the stock was a broader rally based on improved manufacturing data in Europe for June.

Monday's gains erase recent losses for $AAPL. The stock closed below $400 last week, the first time in months $AAPL had traded so low. The stock is still well off its high of $702.10 set in September of 2012.

*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.