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Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of a screen displaying the IPhone 6 during a presentation at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California Oct. 16, 2014.ROBERT GALBRAITH/Reuters

Globe editors have posted this research report with permission of CMC Markets Ltd. This should not be construed as an endorsement of the report's recommendations. For more on The Globe's disclaimers please read here. The following is excerpted from the report:

Apple's quarterly earnings report scheduled for after U.S. exchanges close on Monday October 20 could represent another make or break moment for the company's stock price, and the shares of its competitors.

Apple had been steadily climbing through much of the year but has levelled off over the last two months. Despite reports of big lineups at stores for the iPhone 6 models, the introduction of the iPad Air 2, and the pending launch of Apple Pay with 500 banks signed on, the shares have been unable to make any further headway.

This suggests that high expectations for the launch may have already been priced in to the shares. It also means that the pressure is on for the hype to translate to the bottom line in order to justify the current valuation.

There is a possibility that Apple could disappoint, in addition to the phone bending and operating systems problems, Samsung's recent product warning indicates that competitors, particularly in Asia, are starting to catch up to the industry leaders. Samsung indicated that it needs to spend more on marketing and promotions to defend its share of the market and traders may be looking for signs of whether Apple is facing the same pressures. On the other hand, activist investor Carl Icahn recently sent out a public letter pressuring the company to buy back more shares, which he considers to be undervalued.

Apple has not been immune to the recent pullback in global stock markets. While a strong earnings report may help to shore up support, a shortfall on earnings or guidance could have a big impact on the share price as Netflix and others found out last week.

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