Apple store in Shanghai

A view from Apple's retail store in Shanghai, China, one of its largest storefronts. (David Sarno / Los Angeles Times / April 27, 2012)

Apple Inc.'s stock hit a rough spot earlier this month, but with the stock springing up 9% so far Wednesday, things seem to be smoothing out.

Though the stock had been down about 13% since mid-April, things have changed in the wake of Apple's announcement late Tuesday of  a record second quarter  during which it sold 35 million iPhones and close to 12 million iPads. A major chunk of its revenue for the quarter came from China, one of the company's fastest-growing new markets.

Before the earnings announcement, when Apple shares dropped 2% in regular trading Tuesday, pulling down the Nasdaq composite index while the Dow Jones industrial average rose. On Wednesday,  Apple's big gains lifted the Nasdaq 1.95% in early trading, to 3,019, surpassing the Dow's lesser 0.5% gain.

Analysts credited Apple's big quarter to its growth in China, which was so strong that it minimized the company's weaker performance with U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which had smaller numbers of iPhone activations than analysts had expected.

"There are 230 global carriers and in our view, this simply means that [Apple] has moved beyond a U.S.-centric story to more of an international one, focused on growth markets like greater China," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee, in a note to investors Wednesday morning.

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