Late Thursday, Apple Inc. (AAPL​) released a positive quarterly report, beating the street on sales ($52.6 billion vs. expectations of $50.5 billion) and earnings per share ($2.07 vs. $1.87). Sales and profits rose 12% and 24%  year over year respectively. For the coming big holiday quarter, Apple guided sales expectations of $84 billion to $87 billion, up 9% year over year.

Sales momentum over year is expected to slow in the coming quarter, likely due to a lukewarm reception for the iPhone 8 and supply constraints on the apparently more popular and buzzier iPhoneX that launches today.

At this point, traders don’t appear to be too concerned about the short-term growth prospects as Apple shares broke out over $170 in aftermarket trading Thursday and rallied to an all-time high. This action suggests that traders are thinking iPhone X sales could continue to ramp up into 2018 as more phones become available.

Chart source: TradingView

A flurry of activity at Friday's open is likely on this news, but the big question is whether Apple shares can sustain the gains through the day and post a positive weekly close, or if some traders could start to take profits ahead of the weekend. A Friday close above $170 and even the $165 recent breakout point would confirm the start of a new upleg on trend. A reversal below $165 could be seen as a sign of exhaustion and reversal.

The Bottom Line

Apple recently broke out of a $150 to $165 trading channel but had been looking a bit vulnerable with the RSI indicator getting overbought and a bearish engulfing candle appearing, but these were negated by Thursday's aftermarket surge. Based on this channel, the next upside measured resistance may appear near $180. Additional support may appear near $155 where the recent rally lifted off from.

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