With the company's next earnings report looming on the horizon (estimated to be on October 17 by Briefing.com), Apple is starting to garner a bit more analyst attention. Today, Caris & Co. and Deutsche Bank jumped on the bullish bandwagon, stating that there seems to be stronger demand for the company's MacBooks, iPods, and iPhones. Caris boosted its target price to $175 per share from $165, citing Macintosh sales. Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, praised the company's sales, citing increased demand for the MacBook and iPod touch music player. The brokerage firm also noted that iPhone sales appear to have gained momentum since Apple cut the device's price by $200.

Shares of AAPL are not rallying in usual form following the praise from the brokerage bunch, but are still up about 0.5% on the day. The stock is currently flirting with all-time high territory once again, as it deals with overhead resistance in the 155 region. This level has proven troublesome for the past 4 sessions, capping all rally attempts.

Sentiment is quite bullish, which is to be expected since we are talking about Apple. However, the bears are beginning to win over converts in the options pits. Since September 18, AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) has jumped about 20% from a reading of 0.78 to today's perch at 0.93. While today's reading still ranks in just the 57th percentile of its annual range, the rising bearish contingent is encouraging from a contrarian perspective.