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Apple shares jump to highest since July 2015 after record iPhone sales

Apple iPhone sales hit an all-time high on Wednesday, helping to send its stock to its highest levels since the summer of 2015.

The company announced on Tuesday that it sold more than 78 million iPhones in the first quarter of fiscal 2017, compared to 74.78 million last year. Analysts had expected sales of 77.42 million, according to StreetAccount.

The news sent shares of Apple more than 6 percent higher, closing at $128.75 a share. The stock saw its best day since July 27, 2015 when it gained 6.5 percent.

Trade volume in shares of Apple was more than three times the 30-day average of 26.9 million shares. Apple has had the most positive impact on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, accounting for about 42 points of the Dow's gain on Wednesday.

"We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

Apple shares 5-day performance

Sales in China were disappointing, falling 12 percent year-over-year in the fiscal first quarter, though Cook remains "very bullish" on a long-term future in China.

The company reported better-than-expected earnings of $3.36 a share on revenue of $78.4 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. Both figures were the highest on record, and well above estimates of $3.21 a share on revenue of $77.25 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus.

Services, including the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud, reached $7.17 billion. That is up 18 percent year-over-year and above the $6.91 billion estimated by StreetAccount.

Apple also included a cautious second quarter guidance, expecting revenue to hit between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion, and a gross margin of about 38-39 percent. A Thomson Reuters consensus of analysts expected a second quarter guidance for revenue of $53.79 billion.