Traders say it’s time to buy Apple — here’s why it could be primed to rally

Whether looking at the charts or considering fundamental forces, traders see a myriad of reasons to expect more upside for Apple this year.

The new iPhone 7 hits stores on Friday. And as stocks slid on Tuesday, Apple surged; it was the only positive Dow component at the market’s close, rising 2.38 percent as the Dow fell 1.41 percent.

“I think a lot of it was the surprising sales numbers, which actually I didn’t find very surprising because we’ve known that the [phone] replacement cycle has gotten longer and longer,” Erin Gibbs, chief equity investment officer at S&P Global, said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.

Gibbs sees Apple as having strong long-term growth. “It’s just a great, stable company on top of the fact that the iPhone 7 sales are doing so well is just one more reason to keep on holding it.”

As for the company’s longer “replacement cycle” of revitalized iPhones debuts, Gibbs thinks consumers will ditch their older phones anyway, “even if it didn’t have all the bells and whistles” that consumers were expecting.

A look at the charts in light of Apple’s moves on Tuesday shows the “relative strength of the stock,” according to Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald.

Apple on Tuesday saw its best daily performance since July.

And while Wald sees a trend higher, it could be a “choppy” move higher. He sees the stock more as an investment than a near-term trade.

“What really catches our eye is Apple’s ability to reverse its year-long downtrend,” Wald said, pointing to a move above its 200-day moving average. This, to Wald, indicates a positive long-term trend.

But to complete that reversal, he added, Apple must break through the $112 mark, which Wald calls a level of resistance. And indeed, he sees it breaking through that level before the year is out.

Analysts’ mean target price for the tech giant is $121.81, according to FactSet — nearly 13 percent above the stock’s close of $107.95 on Tuesday.

“We hold Apple in our portfolios and we want to continue to hold it,” Gibbs said.

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