Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Apple's stock rose 1.35% Thursday, more than doubling gains by the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq and touching a 52-week high.

Driving the news: The strong gains came despite criticism of the company for pulling apps from its store in recent days to appease Chinese authorities.

What's happening: Apple shares have seen that kind of outperformance all year. The stock price has risen by around 45% this year, more than double the S&P's YTD gains and well above the 29% rise of tech ETF XLK. It's also the best-performing FAANG stock this year by a wide margin.

  • Apple shares have benefited from stronger-than-expected sales of the iPhone 11 and increased excitement about its wearables, such as the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Yes, but: Wall Street analysts remain bullish on Apple in words, but the average price target is below the company's current $230 stock price.

  • Of the 48 analysts covering Apple, 25 have Buy ratings, 18 have Holds, and 5 have Sells, according to Bloomberg data cited by Barron's. Their average 12-month target for the stock is $224.10.

Watch this space: Apple also continues to see overall iPhone sales drop, with volumes expected to fall 15% this year from 2018's total, according to a September report from IDC.

Go deeper: Apple doubles down on buybacks

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 13,203,571 — Total deaths: 575,201 — Total recoveries — 7,331,068Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,407,798 — Total deaths: 136,252 — Total recoveries: 1,031,939 — Total tested: 41,004,275Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.

2 hours ago - Health

Moderna's vaccine spurred immune system response to coronavirus

Moderna's stock rose 16% after hours on this news. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Healthy volunteers who took Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate appeared to generate an immune system response to the virus, and there were "no trial-limiting safety concerns," according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why it matters: The phase one trial is still small and does not definitively determine how effective the vaccine is. But Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, which is running the trial, told the Wall Street Journal that these data make it "pretty clear that this vaccine is capable of inducing quite good [levels] of neutralizing antibodies."