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Apple stock closes out its best day since 2020

Apple CEO Tim Cook visits the Apple Fifth Avenue store for the release of the Apple iPhone 14, New York City, September 16, 2022.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Apple stock rose 7.5% on Friday, a day after it reported September quarter earnings that modestly beat expectations on revenue and profit and showed global demand for its premium hardware remains high.

It was the best day for Apple shares since April 2020.

The surge comes after a mixed week of Big Tech earnings, in which Meta and Alphabet showed signs of weakness caused by macroeconomic conditions hurting the digital ad market. Alphabet rose about 4.4% and Meta was up about 1% on Friday. Both took big hits earlier in the week.

Amazon fell 6.8% on Friday after giving weak guidance for the holiday quarter.

Although Apple signaled some slowing growth in the current quarter, and weakness in its profitable services business, analysts were generally positive about the company’s results.

Apple grew sales by 8% during the September quarter, keeping its Covid pandemic quarterly growth streak alive.

The company’s Mac business grew 25% even as PC sales from other brands from around the world fell.

And Apple signaled that demand for premium computers and phones remains strong.

While Apple’s results weren’t much stronger than what Wall Street expected, the company increasingly looks like a safe haven for investors seeking quality stocks to weather a potential recession as interest rates rise.

“Sometimes in-line results are most exciting,” wrote JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee in a note Friday.

He said the resilience in Apple’s quarter was noteworthy because the company continues to grow sales even against tough macroeconomic factors like a strong dollar, all while keeping its margins high.

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