Apple shares hit 4-month high as stock chart shows growing investor confidence

Apple CEO Tim Cook laughs as Lana Del Rey (with iPad) takes a photo during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30, 2018 in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Apple stock rose 3.7% on Thursday, putting the stock on pace for its ninth positive day in the past 10 trading days.

The rise in the tech giant’s shares led to a broad rise in the S&P 500’s information technology sector, which rose 2.5% on Thursday. This sector has climbed 20% this quarter.

Apple shares recently broke above the “really critical” level of $185 last week, Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics, told CNBC.

“Getting past that Nov. 30 peak was really important,” Chaikin said.

Chaikin pointed to Apple’s “synergistic” relationship with chip vendors, such as Micron Technology. Apple’s stock “leads a lot of vendors in the tech space,” Chaikin said.

“I think Micron’s revenue gives some substance to the Apple story,” Chaikin said. Additionally, reports that Apple plans to keep up to 50% of subscription revenue from its upcoming online streaming service, along with growing confidence in Apple’s new product lineup, are helping to drive up the price. stock, thinks Chaikin.

“There are a lot of bets going on that Apple can transition from a hardware company to software and a streaming service,” Chaikin said.

Apple shares also rose above a key technical level, its 200-day moving average, on Thursday. The metric helps tell investors the overall long-term trend of a stock and, in this case, shows how steadily Apple stock has risen. While Chaikin said the 200-day moving average is more closely watched for indices, rather than individual stocks like Apple, he noted the metric has “symbolic” importance.

Apple stock exceeds its 200-day moving average (in orange)

It was the first time Apple shares exceeded the 200-day moving average since Nov. 16 on an intraday trading basis. Apple’s stock rose more than 23% this quarter, marking its best trading quarter since the first quarter of 2017. Additionally, Apple has gained approximately $178 billion in market value since the start of 2019. .

The 200-day moving average is often used by technical analysts to determine a long-term trend change.

Apple also led the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday, contributing 47 points to the Dow Jones’ 216-point rise.

Apple is expected to unveil a new streaming TV service at an event on March 25. Needham also raised his rating on Apple shares to strong buy after buy on Thursday, saying Apple’s ecosystem has “upside value.”

– CNBC’s Gina Francolla and J.R. Reed contributed to this report.

Karen J. Nelson