Steven Milunovich, an analyst at Meriill Lynch, said yesterday that Apple is on track to sell 2.68 million iPods in the December quarter–nearly four times high than year-earlier total. “Demand for the music players, which let users download, store and play thousands of songs, made Apple the second-best performing stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year,” reports Bloomberg. “Apple said last month that sales will rise to as much as $2.9 billion in the period that ends Christmas Day, as gift buying fuels a ‘marked increase’ in iPod shipments and customers snap up a new version of the iMac computer released in September. Fiscal first-quarter profit will be 39 cents to 42 cents a share, exceeding analysts’ estimates.”