This column was originally published on RealMoney on July 14 at 11:11 a.m. EDT.
I love fast food, but I don't live on the stuff like many Americans do.
My consumption of these fatty but delicious products is reserved for family vacations and those rare times I get the urge for an oversalted Whopper.
Of course, fast food is a necessity at times, like during my trip to Paris last year.
After being ignored by a snobbish waiter in an upscale establishment, I headed for
on the Champs Elysees, the one place I absolutely knew how to pronounce the proper name of each entree.
The Big Mac may not be fois gras or pressed duck, but it tastes good on an empty stomach.
Fast-food stocks have been in a steady uptrend for several years now.
They're benefiting from a trend just as powerful as the world's growing appetite for fossil fuels -- the dumbing down of the typical palette.
These companies have added nutritional value to their offerings in recent years.
Nevertheless, we know it's the fat grams that sell, not the protein grams.
Here's the quick rundown on six fast-food stocks that could move substantially higher in the weeks ahead.
sells and delivers pizza worldwide.
The stock broke out of a long consolidation pattern in May.
It then rallied to $23 before moving sideways in an ascending triangle pattern.
It rallied back to pattern resistance this week and broke out on Wednesday.
The target for this breakout lies in the mid to upper $20s.
owns and operates the Arby's franchise. The stock hit an all-time high at $16.56 in February, pulled back and returned to that key level last week.
After Triarc moves sideways for a while, it could break out in a bullish cup-and-handle pattern. This thrust would set the stage for an initial rally to $18.
Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
sells burgers through a clever, round-headed spokesman. The stock has been moving higher in a wavy pattern that features sharp rallies and deep pullbacks. Notice how price drops below the 50-day moving average before starting each new rally. It's at the point in this cycle where it could jump quickly into the low $40s.
Your kids know
better as Chuck E. Cheese. The stock hit an all-time high at $42 last December, dropped into a correction and returned to resistance in June. It's been congesting at this level and could move considerably higher after earnings are released on July 26.
Steak n Shake
The Steak n Shake Company
describes its basic offerings through its name. The stock hit an all-time high in early 2004 and has been pressing back toward that level since bottoming out last October. It's been moving sideways below $20 for over seven months, so price could break out quickly once it reaches and tests the old high.
operates Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and Taco Bell. It rallied to an all-time high at $53 in March, pulled back and returned to the old high last month. Following another pullback, the stock is nearing the breakout level for the third time. This should complete a cup-and-handle pattern that might yield a quick breakout to $60.
Yum! reported earnings late Wednesday, so wait for the dust to clear before considering a position.
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Alan Farley is a professional trader and author of
The Master Swing Trader
. Farley also runs a Web site called HardRightEdge.com, an online resource for trading education, technical analysis and short-term investment strategies. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Farley appreciates your feedback;
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