As Apple sets a new record, Wall Street remains conflicted over the trajectory for shares in the near term. The iPhone maker notched a new all-time high on Monday, a week after hitting an intraday high . Last week, Apple unveiled its new mixed realty headset and a host of other upgrades at its annual developers conference, rekindling some excitement around the metaverse . Since the start of 2023, the stock has surged roughly 41%, boosted by renewed investor optimism around the technology sector and mounting enthusiasm for artificial intelligence. AAPL YTD mountain Apple shares in 2023 But with the jump in shares putting Apple about 2% shy of Wall Street’s consensus price target, questions remain over the likelihood of more upside in the near term. Concerns over soft iPhone demand and an unattractive risk/reward also linger, leading UBS to downgrade shares late Monday. As of midday Tuesday, Apple shares traded at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of more than 31 times, above the multiple for the broader S & P 500. With the stock trading at expensive levels, Independent Solutions Wealth Management’s Paul Meeks said he’s refraining from buying more but maintaining his current position. “I think if you’re a tech investor, it’s such a large part of the index that you almost have to own it permanently,” the portfolio manager said. “When it’s expensive, you sell into strength and when it’s cheap, you buy a little bit more but you never get rid of your position.” Despite Apple’s steepening stock price and some reservations about its valuation, many analysts are keeping their bullish stance. Amid the surge, CFRA Research’s Angelo Zino maintains his buy rating and a $190 price target on shares, but said that an objective hike isn’t out of the question should momentum continue. Looking ahead, Zino views a reacceleration in services as a near-term catalyst for the stock, even though the company laps easy comparisons over last year. He sees foldable phones as a potential longer-term driver for the stock. “If those factors come to fruition, we think there’s upside potential to those consensus estimates out there, as well as potential for additional multiple expansion,” the analyst said. Bullish on Apple’s potential, Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives recently upped his price target on shares to $220, reflecting about 20% upside from Monday’s close. According to the analyst, Wall Street is underestimating the pent-up upgrade cycle to come with the new iPhone and a reacceleration in services. Ives called betting against the company and CEO Tim Cook the “wrong poker move” as the stock approaches a $3 trillion market cap and Apple enters its next growth stage. “I understand like right now the path of least resistance is to be cautious to negative on Apple and say it’s gone too far, but I believe we’re still in the middle innings before a mini super cycle takes hold,” he said, adding that he expects risk-on sentiment to continue. “When it’s a risk-on for Big Tech, Cupertino is going to be front and center in that rally,” Ives said.