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Apple shares are soaring, and here's why they're going higher: Trader

Apple's shares are soaring and one trader thinks the rally isn't over.

The new iPhone 7 hits stores on Friday. And as stocks slid on Tuesday, Apple surged; it was the only positive Dow component at the market's close, rising 2.38 percent as the Dow fell 1.41 percent.

"I think a lot of it was the surprising sales numbers, which actually I didn't find very surprising because we've known that the [phone] replacement cycle has gotten longer and longer," Erin Gibbs, chief equity investment officer at S&P Global, said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."


Gibbs sees Apple as having strong long-term growth. "It's just a great, stable company on top of the fact that the iPhone 7 sales are doing so well is just one more reason to keep on holding it."

As for the company's longer "replacement cycle" of revitalized iPhones debuts, Gibbs thinks consumers will ditch their older phones anyway, "even if it didn't have all the bells and whistles" that consumers were expecting.

A look at the charts in light of Apple's moves on Tuesday shows the "relative strength of the stock," according to Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald.


Apple on Tuesday saw its best daily performance since July.

And while Wald sees a trend higher, it could be a "choppy" move higher. He sees the stock more as an investment than a near-term trade.

"What really catches our eye is Apple's ability to reverse its year-long downtrend," Wald said, pointing to a move above its 200-day moving average. This, to Wald, indicates a positive long-term trend.

But to complete that reversal, he added, Apple must break through the $112 mark, which Wald calls a level of resistance. And indeed, he sees it breaking through that level before the year is out.

Analysts' mean target price for the tech giant is $121.81, according to FactSet — nearly 13 percent above the stock's close of $107.95 on Tuesday.

"We hold Apple in our portfolios and we want to continue to hold it," Gibbs said.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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