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Apple stock reaches new high on iPhone 5 buzz

Workers stand near a sign at the latest Apple store under construction Monday Sept. 19, 2011 in Shanghai, China. Apple will open the store in the Nanjing road this week and Apple's third store in Shanghai and the fifth overall in China. It will be the largest Apple retail store in the country.

Eugene Hoshiko/Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Apple shares hit a new high on Monday as the company's shareholders shrugged off broader tech market weakness.

The tech giant briefly reached a new high of $411.50 despite nervousness elsewhere in the sector, which pushed the Nasdaq down more than 1%. Apple shares had retreated slightly from its high by mid-afternoon, trading at $410.10, more than 2% up on its opening price.

Even amid worries about consumer spending, Apple's next-generation iPhone looks set to continue the tech giant's upward trajectory, likely fuelling investors' bullishness.

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Initially expected to debut in September, chatter continues to swirl around the new iPhone. In a note released on Monday, for example, JPMorgan predicts that Apple may launch two new iPhones during the fall. One of the new devices will be an iPhone 5 capable of running on both GSM and CDMA+ networks, according to Mark Moskowitz, who also expects a new phone geared toward the booming Chinese smartphone market.

An "iPhone 4-plus" offering minor improvements on the existing iPhone 4 would be a shrewd move, according to Mr. Moskowitz. "A device targeting China could add to Apple's super growth rates recently exhibited in the region," he added.

Apple's iPhone is currently sold exclusively by China Unicom in China, although the addition of other carriers would significantly extend Apple's presence in the world's most populous nation.

"Potential targets include China Mobile, which has China's largest subscriber base at approximately 600 million, or China Telecom with 100 million subscribers," explained Moskowitz.

China is certainly looming large in Apple's future. Apple's revenue from greater China, which encompasses mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, grew 600% year over year during the company's recent blowout third-quarter results. Speaking during a conference call to discuss the results, Apple's new CEO Tim Cook admitted that the company is still "scratching the surface" of China and cited the "incredible opportunity" offered by the country.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

With files from Scott Moritz in New York

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