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Apple passes $700 amid iPhone euphoria

Sep 18 2012 16:56 AFP

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New York - Apple shares traded above $700 for the first time on Wall Street on Tuesday, amid optimism on the tech giant as it launches its new iPhone 5.

Apple rose as high as $701.44 in early trade, a day after the Silicon Valley firm said it received more than two million orders for its new iPhone 5 in just 24 hours.

The stock later dipped slightly to $699.34. The company's market value based on its stock price has surged above $655bn, extending Apple's lead as the world's most valuable corporation.

Apple unveiled the new version of its iconic smartphone last Wednesday and opened up pre-orders on Friday. The company said the hot item would be available in 100 countries around the world by year's end.

Shaw Wu, analyst at Sterne Agee, has set an Apple price target of $840.

"We continue to believe many underestimate iPhone 5 in that it is a significant update and will drive a powerful product cycle," Wu said in a note to clients, adding that the only thing holding Apple back may be "supply constraints."

Some analysts say Apple could sell 10 million iPhones in the opening days and 50 million before the end of 2012.

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