Apple hits a record-high close with over 2 weeks to spare by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine January 7, 2012, 11:10 AM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons The slingshot ride in advance of the company’s quarterly earnings report has begun early “If you can keep a good stock down then you are able to load up for the ride back up. It’s like a slingshot — the harder you pull, the more propulsion you generate.” Jason Schwarz’ Apple: Seven Reasons Shorts Love It. I’m reminded of Jason Schwarz’ 2009 quote every time I see a chart like the one at right, which shows what has happened to Apple’s AAPL share price in the eight weeks since Steve Jobs died. The stock hit an all-time a record high close of $422.40 Friday, a few points shy of the record intraday high it reached on Oct. 17. I’m not quite as cynical as Schwarz, but I’ve noticed that Apple does tend to bottom out mid-way through the quarter — almost as if someone were preparing to load up on the stock at the lowest-possible price — and then run up in advance of a quarterly earnings report that almost never fails to beat the Street’s expectations. (For a good explanation for why the estimates of even the most bullish professional analysts tend to be so conservative, see Horace Dediu’s Predictions for 2012 at Asymco.com.) Two things strike me as interesting about this quarter’s chart: The odd spike in early October, after Steve Jobs died, reaching that intraday high of $426.70 on Oct. 17 The fact that the run-up in advance of the big Christmas quarter earnings report has already begun There are 11 more trading days before Jan. 24, when Apple is scheduled to announce its earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2012. Plenty of time to lay down some new record highs.