Helped by an overall positive market sentiment fuelled by the passage of the payroll tax cut extension by Congress this morning, the stock of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) crossed the $400 mark for first time since last November. Apple’s stock must have also been helped from end of the year “window-dressing,” as it has gained roughly 24 percent for the year, compared to an almost 4 percent gain for Google (GOOG), and a 2 percent decline for the overall Nasdaq market (NASDAQ:QQQ).
Apple’s stock has been dragged below $400 because of a rather disappointing earnings report for the previous quarter, leadership transition concerns after the loss of its legendary founder Steve Jobs, and a slow-down in Europe. Actually, the company has been losing market shares for its iPhone in the majority of European countries, especially in Germany, where Android-based Samsung’s Galaxy S II maintains a lead. In the meantime, both Apple and Google have been gaining market shares against Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK).
Would the stock hold on to the $400-mark and eventually head for a new high? It is hard to say, especially in this unsettled market that trades more on political headlines and less on economic fundamentals.