Apple Inc's iPad and bustling retail business have encouraged investors to shrug off the shaky economy and snap up the company's shares as 2010 comes to a close.
Checks by analysts over the past few weeks indicate strong demand for a number of Apple products, which has pushed its shares up as much as 9 percent over the past month.
Wall Street expects the company to post revenue of more than $24 billion in the December quarter, up 50 percent from last year. That would leave Apple trailing only Hewlett-Packard and IBM in sales among U.S. technology companies.
Image: Ben Clark, 10, learns to play Silent Night on an iPad using the Magic Fiddle app, during a holiday youth workshop at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif.