Apple extends record-setting rally to 4th day as investors cheer expanded iPhone production and push into ‘buy now, pay later’

Tim Cook Apple CEO
  • Shares of Apple hit intraday record highs for a fourth day in a row Wednesday.
  • Apple is seeking a 20% increase in new iPhone production for 2021, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • The tech giant is also working on a new service that will let consumers pay for Apple Pay purchases in installments over time.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Apple hit record intraday highs for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, jumping as much as 2.6% as investors cheered announcements around expanded iPhone production and a push into payment-plan service.

Apple is on the brink of surpassing the $2.5 trillion market capitalization mark for the first time, something no other company has ever done.

The stock rallied on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported that Apple has asked suppliers to build as many as 90 million next-generation iPhones in 2021, a 20% increase from its 2020 shipments. A Bloomberg report on Tuesday evening also found that Apple is working on a service that would let users make Apple Pay purchases in installaments over time – something similar to the “buy now, pay later” model offered by Affirm Holdings and PayPal.

Shares of Apple are currently up roughly 17% over the past month. And Craig Johnson, the chief market technician at Piper Sandler, says technical signals indicate even more upside is likely for Apple.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan upped its Apple price target by $5 to $175 and added the stock to its “Top Pick” list on Wednesday, citing continued strength of Mac sales and an upside revision to iPhone 12 build estimates by the firm’s Apple supply chain analyst as near-term catalysts.

“We see upside on several aspects of the business as well as financials that remain underappreciated by investors, namely the transformation of the company to Services, growth in the installed base, technology leadership, and optionality around capital deployment―all of which together lead us to expect double-digit earnings growth and a modest re-rating for the shares,” JPMorgan said.

JPMorgan’s $175 price target would leave Apple with a roughly $2.8 trillion market cap at the end of 2021.

The tech stalwart is also attracting the attention of retail investors who are pivoting away from meme stocks, according to flows analyzed by Vanda Research. Apple was also a top trending stock on retail sentiment tracking site hypeequity.com on Wednesday.

Read more: 
MORGAN STANLEY: Buy these 5 tech stocks set to benefit from the ongoing digital transformation, a robust IT spending backdrop, and the rise of cloud computing