NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The S&P 500 is down more than 6% for the year but certain stocks are continuing to rally to fresh highs despite the selling pressure. Once a stock peaks to new 52-week highs, it comes under increased attention. This can be either positive or negative for the stock depending on the situation. The following stocks recently hit 52-week highs, showing strength in an overall weak market.
The majority of the stocks discussed here belong to the food and beverage sector, a classic defensive bet that does better in an economic downturn. In addition, three from this sector, Starbucks (SBUX), McDonald's (MCD) and Yum! Brands (YUM) are expanding operations and gaining traction in the emerging markets.
The last stock to consider here is from the energy sector, Plains All American Pipeline (PAA). With oil prices reaching close to $100 per barrel, PAA is worth a second look.Based on average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg, these five stocks have potential upsides ranging from 5% to 12%. Of analysts covering the stock, an average of 69% recommend a buy. The stocks are listed in ascending order of upside potential.
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