Apple Reigns as Dow’s Best Performing Stock in 2017

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Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) posted a new 52-week high last Thursday and the stock gained about 1.3% to close the shortened week at $136.66. Apple stock has gained about 18% for the year to date and remains the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s best performing stock this year.

As was the case in the prior week, a significant portion of the past week’s gain came as the result of speculation about what the company will be including in the iPhone 8. The most talked about new features are a glass sandwich design, borderless OLED screen, wireless charging and augmented-reality technology.

We noted last week that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) reported that it boosted its investment in Apple significantly. In Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, we saw how much that investment contributed to Buffett’s bottom line..

Apple’s market cap is now just shy of $717 billion, a gain of $5 billion in just one (short) week. Between last May, when the stock dropped to a 52-week low, and last week, the shares have added nearly 46%. The DJIA is up 15.8% in the same period and the Nasdaq Composite is up about 19.4%.

Any downsides? Well, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, an Apple board member, sold more than 200,000 shares of company stock last week worth about $29.5 million. Gore still owns more than 230,000 shares of Apple stock, so he was probably just booking some profit in order to diversify.

Apple shares closed at $136.66 on Friday in a 52-week range of $89.47 to $137.48. The consensus 12-month price target is $140.56 in a price target range of $102 to $185 per share.