16 big stocks near records before the New Year

The big keep getting bigger.

Troll the list of 52-week highs (see some names below) in the record-setting stock market right now, and it’s a who’s who of big cap, household name companies. 

The stocks mentioned here reflect a couple themes being played by investors into 2022: likely increased at-home food/consumer products consumption with the Omicron variant raging (Hershey, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Mondelez, Proctor & Gamble, Constellation Brands, Yum! Brands); solid health care plays amid the ongoing pandemic (Abbott, McKesson, Zoetis); economic recovery names (Norfolk Southern, Paychex, Hilton); the hot U.S. housing market continues (Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams).

  1. Hershey (HSY)

  2. Coca-Cola (KO)

  3. McDonald’s (MCD)

  4. McKesson (MKC)

  5. Mondelez (MDLZ)

  6. Norfolk Southern (NSC)

  7. Paychex (PAYX)

  8. Proctor & Gamble (PG)

  9. Sherwin Williams (SHW)

  10. Constellation Brands (STZ)

  11. Yum! Brands (YUM)

  12. Zoetis (ZTS)

  13. CME Group (CME)

  14. Hilton (HLT)

  15. Abbott (ABT)

  16. Home Depot (HD)

Of course, the moves higher in these big cap stocks come as the broader market remains in full Santa Claus Rally mode despite the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, investors are feeling emboldened to bid up these stocks even as they are far from cheap from a valuation perspective.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) notched its 70th record close of the year on Wednesday. It represented the second highest number of record closes for the S&P 500 in a calendar year. Back in 1995, the S&P 500 saw 77 record closing highs according to Bloomberg data.

Most on Wall Street expect the rally to continue into the early part of January, reflecting favorable seasonal factors such as money managers making new bets for the New Year.

“We encourage our clients not to get out, to stay in the market. When the recoveries hit, when the sentiment changes, it happens so quickly that often by the time you’re able to get back into the market, you have already missed out,” said Erin Gibbs, Main Street Asset Management chief investment officer, on Yahoo Finance Live.

In other words, the big … may keep on getting bigger.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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