It's not just tech. Other stocks are hitting 52-week highs

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It’s not just mega cap tech leading the markets higher this year. Look around, and you'll notice a variety of big name stocks starting to join the 52-week high club. In some cases, they're reaching record peaks.

Walmart (WMT) closed at an all-time high of $158.20 on Monday. During the same session, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) hit an intraday record following its record close of $2,139 last Friday. Fast food chain McDonalds (MCD) also recorded its best closing price ever last week at $298.41.

Until now, analysts had noted that this year's massive market rally had been fueled by a handful of tech stocks. Apple recently became the first US publicly traded company to close with a $3 trillion valuation.

Other notable names which have recently hit 52-week highs include GE (GE) and home improvement retailer Lowes (LOW).

“Generally speaking, for me, it's just further and further evidence of breadth expansion,” JC Parets, president and founder of Allstarcharts.com recently said in a note to investors.

"This is the sort of thing that happens in bull markets," he added.

Yet other strategists caution against getting too bullish, too soon.

"Under the surface, the picture has modestly broadened over the last few weeks. However, it's still unusual that we're ~9 months off the October lows and the rally is not broader," Chris Varrone, managing director at Strategas, and Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird Private Wealth Management, recently wrote in a note to investors.

"Today we're sitting at about 60-65% of stocks above their 200-day moving average, and historically you might see 80-90% of issues above the 200-day in that first year off a low," added the strategists.

"There are hints of cyclical leadership, but it's not as broad as one would expect," they added.

The market rally this year has been largely driven by tech stocks like Apple. That could be changing. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The market rally this year has been largely driven by tech stocks like Apple. That could be changing. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Overall, the Nasdaq (^NDX) gained 39% in the first six months of the year, marking its best first half ever. The broader S&P 500 (^GSPC) had its best first half since 2019, up 16%.

Investors poured into information technology, communication services and consumer discretionary stocks this year amid a frenzy over artificial intelligence, and rotation out of energy and financials.

However even names like JPMorgan (JPM) - which earlier this year acquired First Republic Bank in an effort to curb a regional banking crisis — hit a 52-week high on Monday.

Credit card firms Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V) also reached similar levels recently.

“I was promised a banking crisis, maybe even a recession. But all I got was the most amount of new 52-week highs in years,” said Parets.

The travel stocks have also been on a tear. Marriott International (MAR), Delta (DAL), Carnival (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) all touched intraday 52-week recently.

Travel and leisure is one of the sectors of the economy that has been going strong despite the Fed’s tight monetary policy.

Carnival shares jumped to a 52-week intraday high of $19.19 on Monday. The cruise line operator recently announced record quarterly bookings.

Ines is a senior business reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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