Bet on Big Macs, materials when China cuts rates

When China cuts interest rates, supersize your fries.

McDonald's shares outperform the market five days after a Chinese rate cut, history shows, in a bet the nation's people will respond to the stimulus by chomping down on more burgers from the American-based fast-food king.

Makers of stone and gravel used in construction also beat the market.

Five days later after a cut by the People's Bank of China, McDonald's stock increased 71 percent of the time with a median return of 2 percent, according to Kensho, a quantitative analytics tool used by hedge funds.

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The cut may be welcome news for McDonald's, as same-restaurant sales at its Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa unit dropped 9.9 percent last quarter after a scandal at one of its suppliers in China.

Shares of Martin Marietta Materials and Vulcan Materials also climbed 71 percent of the time in the five days following a rate cut by China, providing a median return of 3 percent each.

Ironically, these makers of stone, sand and other construction materials do not sell to China. However, when the second-biggest economy in the world cuts rates it raises prices for these materials globally, as the cut sparks a domestic build-out.

The PBOC by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent Friday in order to combat slowing growth. It was the first move in two years.

The Kensho study looked at the last seven cuts by the central bank since 2008.

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.