Amazon is hot on Apple’s trail in the race to $1 trillion 

And they’re off.

Apple is the longtime favorite to get to a $1 trillion market cap, but dark horse Amazon is quickly gaining speed. As they round the bend, Apple is a nose in front with a market cap of $936 billion, while Amazon raced above $900 billion for the first time ever Wednesday.

Amazon may be in second place, but it has the better odds to cross the finish line first, two market watchers contend.

“I’m going with Amazon here. I think Amazon is firing on all cylinders,” Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Wednesday.

Amazon’s outperformance in its Web Services and Prime business segments has Baruch feeling bullish. Its recent Prime Day, which acts as a de facto sign-up event for subscription-only services, was its biggest ever, according to the company. Amazon said it had more new Prime memberships on Monday than any other day in its history.

“Ultimately this is also more technical for me,” said Baruch. “The path of least resistance is higher. Then, ultimately too, with Apple you have the June highs that that faces.”

Amazon reached a new intraday high Wednesday, its best level stretching all the way back to its IPO in mid-1997. Apple last reached a record on June 7 – it has since pulled back about 2 percent.

“On top of that as well, who can deliver good news first? You’re looking at Amazon delivering earnings next week compared to the week after for Apple,” added Baruch.

Amazon is slated to report earnings on July 26. Apple will release its own earnings on July 31.

As for their balance sheets, Apple comes out ahead, said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management. But Amazon trades on more than its financials, he added.

“Amazon has a much stronger narrative,” Schlossberg said on Wednesday’s “Trading Nation.” “If their earnings come in strong and everything looks very positive for the quarter going forward in terms of growth, I think Amazon is the one that reaches that target first because investors are actually much more excited about Amazon’s business model.”

Apple would have to reach $203.45 a share to get to $1 trillion, another 7 percent increase from current levels. Amazon would have to climb another 11.8 percent to get to $2,060.89.

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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 CNBC and 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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