Dow stock Nike just hit a record — and its run could just be getting started

Nike shares just sprinted to an all-time high, and some market watchers foresee even bigger gains.

The athletic apparel company is the best-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year, up 36 percent and far outpacing peers like Foot Locker and Skechers.

The bulk of its gains have come in just the last three months — 14 percent. The stock quickly recouped losses earlier this month in a move sparked by an advertisement featuring former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the NFL "take a knee protest" against racial inequality in America.

"We're not crazy about the valuation, but this is an iconic brand. They're resilient, and when you have an iconic brand, it can command a premium valuation," Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

A survey earlier this week by Wall Street firm Canaccord Genuity said the majority of consumers supported the Kaepernick advertisement, a sentiment that would likely translate into a "bump" in sales in the company's quarterly earnings report next week.

The stock has room to run from a technical perspective, said Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray — but he wouldn't put fresh money into Nike shares, given where the stock is trading relative to its 200-day moving average.

"This is a stock we've owned for a while. We bought this stock when it was breaking out of that big base, there was a lot of controversy. From my perspective, I see about 6 to 12 percent upside to about the $90, $95 level," Johnson said.

Nike shares closed 1.1 percent higher on Thursday, at $85.37 per share.

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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.

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