Shares of Fitbit Inc. surged 3% in morning trade Wednesday, with Stifel Nicolaus saying the fitness band maker's Ionic "enjoys distinctions" when compared with Apple Inc.'s new Apple Watch 3. "Key distinctions in head-to-head comparison with the Fitbit Ionic product are compatibility with non-iOS devices, longer battery life which supports sleep tracking (claimed 4 days vs. Series 3 watch at 18 hours) and a narrow advantage in price ($299 vs. $329)," analyst Jim Duffy wrote in a note to clients. "Longer battery life and sleep tracking functionality...are likely to be emphasized in Fitbit marketing messages supporting the Ionic during the holiday season." Fitbit's website says Ionic will ship in 2-to-3 weeks while Apple said Watch Series 3 will be available on Sept. 22. Fitbit's stock has run up 23.6% over the past three months but was still down 12% year to date, while Apple's stock has rallied 36.4% so far this year and the S&P 500 has gained 11.4%.

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