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Monday, September 17, 2012, 01:09 pm PT (04:09 pm ET)

Apple stock hits $700 for first time in after-market trading

Prices for Apple stock hit an all-time high in after-market trading on Monday, topping out at $700 after flirting with the record-breaking number since the company announced huge sales of its new iPhone 5.



After announcing its new smartphone hauled in over 2 million pre-orders in its first 24 hours of availability, AAPL prices briefly jumped past the $700 barrier on Monday, a mark the stock has been pushing toward since the company's strong third quarter earnings call in July.

When the final sales numbers are tallied, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes Apple will move some eight million iPhone 5 handsets in its first weekend of sales, doubling the results from last year's iPhone 4S launch. Munster notes that the iPhone 5 could see an unprecedented 10 million unit sales by the end of the quarter.

In the fastest-ever launch for any Apple product, the iPhone 5 is slated to go on this Friday in nine countries, with U.S. customers able to buy the device at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon wireless as well as certain Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart Stores. The unit is slated to see release in 22 additional countries on Sept. 28, and will be available in 100 countries by December.

As of this writing, Apple stock is hovering just below the $700 mark at $699.78 with a market capitalization of $656 billion.