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) -- A roster of stocks hit fresh 52-week highs on Monday. By market cap, the largest companies to reach fresh heights were blue chips


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Altria Group

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. Which will outperform in the second half of 2010?

First, let's consider what got each one to where it is today.

Reports surfaced last week that Germany-based conglomerate Siemens might make an acquisition bid for solar industry leader

First Solar

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>>First Solar Rises on Siemens Takeover Talk

Siemens has made itself a major player in the energy markets, including the U.S. energy market, and has dabbled in just about every alternative energy source, from wind to nuclear to solar. Siemens has arguably made the least in-roads with solar, though the Munich-based large cap did acquire solar thermal power company

Solel Solar Systems

in 2009.

>>European Stocks On Sale

An acquisition of First Solar would, however, catapult the multinational into a leading position in the solar market. Kaufman Brothers analyst Jeff Bencik said that it could make sense for Siemens to get into solar in a major way, at least from a position of pure logical speculation, through a takeover of First Solar, the biggest solar company.

Acquisition speculation led American depositary receipts of Siemens higher since the rumors surfaced last week. ADRs gained 1.5% from the close of trading on August 3rd, the day before the buzz began to circulate, to a 52-week high of $104.14 in morning trading Monday.

VOTE: Which 52-Week-High Stock Will Outperform?

Blue chips Siemens, McDonald's, AstraZeneca, Altria Group and Deere hit fresh 52-week highs on Monday. Which will outperform in the remainder of 2010?

McDonald's shares, for their part, touched record highs Monday as strong demand for the company's Real Fruit Smoothies and Frappes

led same-store sales to surge 7% in July


The closely watched figure of same-store sales -- or sales at stores open at least one year -- easily topped analyst expectations for comps growth of 4.8%, and was the burger-and-fries chain's biggest monthly increase since April of 2009.

>>McDonald's Heats Up on Cold Drinks

McDonald's said strong comps growth was fueled by its beverage business, extended hours and strong sales in Asia. Comps growth of 5.7% in the U.S. was boosted in part by sales of its recently launched Real Fruit Smoothies and Frappes from its McCafe line of drinks.

Demand for iced beverages in July came as no surprise to the National Weather Service, which said the month was one of the hottest on record across the nation.

R.W. Baird analyst David E. Tarantino boosted his earnings forecast for McDonald's by a penny per share based on its strong July sales figures. He now expects the company to earn $1.24 per share in the current quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect McDonald's to earn $1.23 per share.

The Golden Arches' shares touched a fresh all-time high of $73.33 on Monday.

VOTE: Which 52-Week-High Stock Will Outperform?

Blue chips Siemens, McDonald's, AstraZeneca, Altria Group and Deere hit fresh 52-week highs on Monday. Which will outperform in the remainder of 2010?

Pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca hit a new 52-week high of $52.78 in morning trading after the London-based firm said it paid $198 million to settle 17,500 U.S. personal injury claims related to its antipsychotic drug Seroquel. Claimants alleged the drug caused diabetes in some users.

AstraZeneca said the settlement will not affect its earnings guidance of $6.35 to $6.65 per share for 2010. Seroquel is the company's second biggest seller after ulcer drug Nexium, generating $4.9 billion in revenue last year, or 15% of its total sales for 2009.

Late last month the drug maker posted a 23% rise in second-quarter profits, to $2.11 billion from $1.71 billion in the year-earlier period, while revenue grew 2.8% to $8.18 billion. Results were boosted by stronger sales of cholesterol drug Crestor and a lower tax rate, leading AstraZeneca to lift its earnings outlook for the year.

>>AstraZeneca Earnings Call Transcript

Meanwhile, shares of Altria Group, parent of cigarette maker

Philip Morris USA

, touched $22.68 in early morning trading Monday.

Altria -- a Richmond, Va.-based holding company -- posted higher-than-expected quarterly profits last month and raised its 2010 outlook as higher cigarette prices offset waning demand.

Stephanie Link, director of research for


, named Altria a winner in the consumer staple sector last week, citing the stock's strong yield and total return.

>>Top Consumer Staple Stocks

Finally, shares of Deere reached a 52-week high of $69.47 Monday. The earth-moving equipment maker

was a recent 'Mad Money' pick by Jim Cramer

. "I think Deere could see $100," Cramer declared on his August 2 program. "Things are getting pretty positive over there."

Equity research firm Longbow upgraded Deere shares to buy from neutral, maintaining an $86 price target on the stock.

Deere is expected to post fiscal third quarter profits of $1.19 per share on sales of $6.7 billion. Analysts' consensus call is for full year earnings per share of $4.20, up from reported profits of $1.01 per share in 2009. Deere's report is due out later this month.

All of which begs the question: Which of these recent 52-week-high stocks do you think will outperform the others for the remainder of the year? Take our poll below to see what



-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.