NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The S&P 500 is down more than 6% for the year but certain stocks are continuing to rally to fresh highs despite the selling pressure. Once a stock peaks to new 52-week highs, it comes under increased attention. This can be either positive or negative for the stock depending on the situation. The following stocks recently hit 52-week highs, showing strength in an overall weak market.The majority of the stocks discussed here belong to the food and beverage sector, a classic defensive bet that does better in an economic downturn. In addition, three from this sector, Starbucks ( SBUX), McDonald's ( MCD) and Yum! Brands ( YUM) are expanding operations and gaining traction in the emerging markets.