iPhone 5 launch drives Apple shares to new high

Photo Courtesy of Apple

Apple’s stock jumped to $696.72 on Thursday, with an intraday high of 685.50, pushing the shares $13.74, or 2%.

Analyst speculation predicts that the device will be the best-selling smartphone of all time and it’s expected to boost Apple sales by the end of the year.

According to USA Today, Apple’s market value rises at $651.5 billion, which makes bigger it than the value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in August 1978.

The site also writes that shares for the company climbed 68 % this year alone.

“Wall Street analysts are still extremely bullish. Of the 40 Wall Street analysts who cover the stock, 39 rate it either a “strong buy” or a “buy” and one just rates it a hold,” the publication states.

Apple’s iPhone 5 was unveiled Wednesday at a live keynote and pre-orders for the device exhausted the stocks within an hour after opening at midnight.