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(52-week high article updated with additional information and stock prices.)



) -- A duo of big-name restaurant stocks --


(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report


Yum! Brands

(YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report

-- hit fresh 52-week highs Tuesday even as

the major indexes fell nearly 1%


Shares of McDonald's touched an all-time high of $75.84 in early-afternoon trading Tuesday, before edging back somewhat to $75.79. The burger-and-fries chain's

recent record high of $75.35 was reached Friday

, the most recent full trading day.

>>10 Large Caps Hitting 52-Week Highs

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Yum! Brands, the operator of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant chains, reached as high as $44.69 in morning trading Tuesday, a new record high, after it too

touched fresh heights of $44.27 on Friday

. Yum! shares were lower by 0.3% at $44.21 Tuesday afternoon.

>>5 More Restaurant Stocks to Buy Now

Other food-related stocks also rose to fresh 52-week highs Tuesday, including convenience store operator

Casey's General Stores

(CASY) - Get Casey's General Stores, Inc. Report

, natural beverage makers

Hain Celestial

(HAIN) - Get Hain Celestial Group, Inc. Report


Hansen Natural

( HANS), food processor

Hormel Foods

(HRL) - Get Hormel Foods Corporation Report

and online restaurant reservation service




Yum! and McDonald's are among analysts' top picks for

restaurant stocks to buy now

, especially now that Burger King shares are considered passé by savvy investors who know

the stock is unlikely to go much higher

after the

Whopper-and-fries chain agreed to be taken private for $24 per share


>>Burger King Agrees to Buyout

Casey's shares jumped 6.8% to $41.55, off earlier highs of $42.15. Hain edged up 0.1% to $24.01 after touching $24.10 earlier Tuesday. Hormel shares fell 0.3% to $44.21 after reaching $44.41, and Opentable fell 1% to $55.30 after hitting a fresh all-time high of $56.13.

Burger King said last week it agreed to be taken private by New York-based hedge fund

3G Capital

, in what will be the second time in less than a decade that its shares will no longer traded on an exchange.

With the economy still very much in recovery mode and

the jobs market stubbornly weak

, consumers continue to be choosy about how they spend their limited discretionary funds. For the restaurant industry that means the competition is stiffer than ever, and some dining establishments are bound to go bust.

>> Bankruptcy Watch: 20 Riskiest Restaurant Stocks

Burger King shares were flat at $23.60 Tuesday morning after surging 14.7% Wednesday amid speculation of the buyout, and then gaining another 25.1% Thursday after the takeover was confirmed.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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Miriam Reimer


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>> 5 More Restaurant Stocks to Buy Now

>> Bankruptcy Watch: 20 Riskiest Restaurant Stocks

>> Burger King Slips on Mixed Broker Action

>> Burger King Agrees to Buyout

>> 3 Restaurant Stocks to Buy Now

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