It's not easy to find stocks that are hitting 52-week highs these days, but they do exist. For whatever reasons, these maverick issues have bucked the selling tide and are attracting steady buying interest. That's quite a feat, considering how few legitimate buyers are taking risks in this treacherous market environment.

These leadership issues cover a wide range of market corners but, not surprisingly, there are quite a few gold and silver stocks. After all, this is the only sector moving higher in a bonafide uptrend. It appears the rest of this elite group is responding to special situations, unique growth stories or small niches that are taking advantage of the current malaise.

Two caveats go along with today's analysis of these top-performing stocks. First, the majority of these issues should outperform the broad market after it stabilizes and starts to move higher. Second, a minority are direct plays on a contracting economy and could sell off at the same time, because it's likely that cash will rotate into more traditional growth plays.


Anadys Pharmaceuticals (ANDS) -- Daily
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eSignal

Anadys Pharmaceuticals ( ANDS) is a small biotech that sold off into single digits back in 2006 and dropped into a long basing pattern. It was testing the multiyear low under $1.50 in January when it shot higher on heavy volume, after positive trial results for of its key products. The subsequent rally lifted price over 400% in just six weeks.

The stock started to pull back in late February. The decline accelerated until last week, when it bounced at four-week support around $5.50. However, this downturn may continue and eventually test the 50-day moving average, currently at $4.98. A bounce at that level might be a precursor to a recovery that lifts price back up to the rally high.

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