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

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A duo of big-name restaurant stocks -- McDonald's ( MCD - Get Report) and Yum! Brands ( YUM - Get 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.

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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.

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Other food-related stocks also rose to fresh 52-week highs Tuesday, including convenience store operator Casey's General Stores ( CASY - Get Report), natural beverage makers Hain Celestial ( HAIN - Get Report) and Hansen Natural ( HANS), food processor Hormel Foods ( HRL - Get Report) and online restaurant reservation service OpenTable ( OPEN).

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.

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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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