Apple shares continue climb; up 8.76% in heavy trading today

With share volume of 27,083,076 today, Apple (AAPL) shares rose 8.76%, up $1.41 to close at $17.50, buoyed by yesterday’s reports about the iTunes Music Store and iPods. AAPL closed yesterday at $16.09.

With share volume of 25,805,034 yesterday, Apple (AAPL) shares rose 11.28%, up $1.63 on reports of better than expected online music and iPod sales. AAPL had closed at $14.46 last Friday.

Apple yesterday announced that its iTunes Music Store sold over one million songs in less than one week of operation. Apple also reported that over one million copies of iTunes 4 have been downloaded, and that it has received orders for over 110,000 new third-generation iPods since their introduction a week ago, with music lovers snapping up more than 20,000 of them from stores in the U.S. this weekend.

“In less than one week we’ve broken every record and become the largest online music company in the world,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in a press release yesterday.

Guess nobody listened to Merrill Lynch this morning.

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