Apple could ring in the New Year with $1 trillion market cap

Apple has surged 50 percent this year, and one technician thinks the tech giant could reach the $1 trillion market cap mark as soon as January.

"On a technical basis, the stock has had times where it has rallied strongly, moved in a sideways channel here for two months and then broken out again," said Matt Maley of Miller Tabak Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "Sure enough, we're in a two-month sideways channel and we're bumping up against the range."

The equity strategist also says that in addition to a repeating pattern, investors may want to consider buying Apple thanks to its valuation compared with other big tech stocks. Currently, Facebook trades at 34 times price-to-earnings and Alphabet at 36 times P/E. That's nothing compared with the likes of Amazon and Netflix, which currently trade at a whopping 300 times P/E and 189 times P/E respectively.

Apple, however, trades at 19 times P/E, which makes it one of the cheapest big tech stocks. This, says Maley, is one big source of momentum for Apple.

"So you have a lot of impetus," he said. "If the market doesn't correct, you could see this stock move up to $190 or $200 in January."

David Seaburg, head of equity sales trading at Cowen and Co., also sees Apple running up to the $190 to $200 level. However, he cautions that he sees the so-called Apple iPhone "supercycle" running for only two more quarters before the company will have to innovate, particularly in its services division.

"I think the stock can work in the near term to $190 or $200, then you probably table it unless they do something significant here again from the services side," he said on "Trading Nation."

"They need to make some sort of acquisition," Seaburg added. "They need to make some sort of real strides here in order to offset the iPhone revenue decaying once its supercycle is over, because there is really not much looking forward from that perspective."

Apple was trading at around $174.60 on Wednesday, meaning that both Maley and Seaburg believe the stock could surge another 14 percent or so in the shorter term.

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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.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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