Apple Cracks $100 on NASDAQ

Wall Street warming to Tim Cook—or maybe it's the iWatch

Whatever the iPhone 6 (set for release on or around Sept. 9) will mean for Apple’s bottom line, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is already feeling some love—from Wall Street. Investor confidence in Apple’s new products pushed the company’s stock above the $100 per-share barrier today, Apple’s best performance since 2012.

The much-buzzed iPhone 6 won’t just be a new and bigger smart phone; Apple has also promised wearable wristwatch technology. Both products are a counterpunch that Apple brass hopes will grab some market share back from Samsung. It’s a big pie, with more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, most of them using the Android operating system.

After becoming the world’s bigger smartphone maker in 2013, Samsung and its Galaxy phone have lost some luster, owing to competitive pressures from China and slower sales in Europe. Apple’s new product releases are apparently boosting confidence that the brand has not lost its innovative mojo under the stewardship of Tim Cook.

To whet market appetite and rebuild brand confidence about its new products, Apple has also made available the Beta 2 release of its Yosemite operating system from the Mac App store to members of its OSX Beta program; the public release of a beta version of the new operating system happened in July.

The staged, downloadable releases demonstrate Apple’s re-engagement with its worldwide fan base and an opportunity to promote the Apple App store, moves that are also exciting investors.

Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns more than $5 billion in Apple stock, claims the rise in share prices is a validation of his claim the company’s stock is undervalued.

The market may be catching up to his views.