Analyst Thinks Apple Has More Room to Run

Short sellers have been actively targeting Apple stock

by Karee Venema

Published on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:10 AM

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has been on a tear in the second half of 2019, up 51% since an early June bounce off the $170 level. The FAANG stock topped out at a record high of $258.19 yesterday, before settling just below there at $257.13. BofA-Merrill Lynch thinks there's more gas in the tank, too, saying in a note that there's still "significant room for upside" in AAPL shares.

Analyst Wamsi Mohan maintained his "buy" rating and $270 price target on the security, explaining the "relative performance of Apple shares have actually lagged into the iPhone 11 launch" amid low expectations for the iPhone 11. The brokerage firm also cited a favorable risk/reward setup ahead of Apple's 5G iPhone.

Heading into today's trading, the Dow stock is overbought, per its 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 76, which may explain why it's trading lower ahead of the bell. Options traders have been positioning for a pullback. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AAPL's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.68 ranks in the 64th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open relative to calls at an accelerated clip.

While some of this put buying may have been at the hands of shareholders protecting paper profits with options, skepticism's been rising in other corners of the Street. Specifically, short interest on AAPL spiked 12.6% in the two most recent reporting periods to 48.02 million shares, still just 1.1% of the equity's float. Apple stock's ability to rally in the face of such intense selling pressure speaks to its underlying strength.

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