NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fast food companies are providing a refuge for hungry investors in these choppy markets. McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) and Wendy's (WEN - Get Report) were among the few green spots on StockTwits.com's social heat map Thursday amidst a severe selloff that chopped 2% off of the S&P 500 (^GSPC), 1.6% off the Dow (^DJI), and 3% off the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC).
McDonald's hit an all-time high as investors looked for established companies capable of attracting consumers no matter what the broader economic outlook.
@howardlindzon poor people need to eat. :) and families on the move fall into the fast food
-- Neo (@Loyola80) Apr. 10 at 09:14 PM
@howardlindzon It really has to do with large amounts of money being moved into a safe stock. Same store sales are flat. Doesn't matter.-- Matt Smith (@Smithatude) Apr. 10 at 09:29 PM
Wendy's got an added boost from an analyst initiating coverage with a buy rating and an SEC filing showing that CEO Emil J. Brolick agreed to stay on through 2015. Brolick's contract was initially set to expire on Sept. 12.
It's not surprising that investors now have an appetite for fast food companies. Bearish cashtaggers have long called for a great rotation from small caps and high growth names to tried-and-true companies seen as capable of withstanding broader economic weakness.
Fast food companies are considered the safest bet among the established companies. Cash-strapped consumers may not pay for a new computer with Microsoft (MSFT) Windows software or an xBox, but they have to eat -- cheaply.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.