52-Week High Bear Market Surprises (JPM, CPB, CBSH, FFH, THS)

The 52-week lows are full and full of stocks each day lately.  In a bear market it gets harder and harder to find stocks which are on their 52-week highs.  The non-perishable food companies are easy to understand.  But when some of the 52-week highs are FINANCIAL stocks, that made us do a double-take.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) $49.63
Day’s Range:    46.30 – 50.00;   52wk Range:    29.24 – 49.95
Comment: The last stable man standing in the banking companies didn’tclose on its high but broke above it briefly.  Jamie Dimon gets to ownwhichever troubled financial institution the FDIC says he can have theassets for a song, while the acquired companies die.

Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) $40.15
Day’s Range:    38.11 – 40.85;   52wk Range:    30.19 – 40.05
Comment: After having just gone through Hurricane Ike and with Gustavhaving hit right before, Campbell Soup was the staple for millions ofpeople. I know from first hand experience. 

Commerce Bancshares Inc. (CBSH) $53.97 
Day’s Range:    45.16 – 55.50;   52wk Range:    36.50 – 52.99
Comment: Middle America must not be as buried as the rest of us.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH) $336.30
Day’s Range:    318.46 – 355.62;   52wk Range:    208.15 – 343.00
Comment: Fairfax didn’t close on its high but hit it intraday.  This is amazing for this P&C insurer in this climate.

Treehouse Foods Inc. (THS) $30.30
Day’s Range:    29.38 – 30.45;   52wk Range:    19.24 – 30.29
Comment: As a non-perishable food player, it must love hurricanes hitting major population centers too.

Jon C. Ogg
October 1, 2008