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Apple breaks losing streak after analyst report

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Apple Inc. rose Friday for the first time in four days, after an analyst saw signs of improvement in iPhone 5 supplies.

THE SPARK: PiperJaffray's Gene Munster wrote in a research report Friday that checks with 100 Apple Stores point to improving supplies of the iPhone 5 for Verizon and AT&T, the most popular carriers. It may be as little as two to three weeks before they're consistently in stock, he said. That makes him comfortable with his projection of total iPhone sales of 45 million in the October-to-November period.

THE ANALYSIS: By Thursday, Apple shares had fallen 24 percent from their all-time high of $705.07, hit on Sept. 21 when the iPhone 5 went on sale. Like most Wall Street analysts, Munster said that regardless of the iPhone 5 supplies, the selloff is overdone. He attributes it to a combination of factors, including Apple's warning that the wealth of new products it's putting out this season means that its profit margin won't be as high as usual. There's also pessimism that Apple will be able to create new blockbuster product categories like it did with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Lastly, investors may be taking profits to limit their exposure to future capital gains tax increases, he wrote.

SHARE ACTION: Apple shares rose $15.59, or almost 3 percent, to $553.34 in midday trading.

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