Stocks just made the most new highs since before the December crash. Here's which to buy

The S&P 500 might still be a 7 percent rally from a record high, but some of its components have already scaled to new heights.

More than 40 S&P 500 components have recently made a 52-week high, the highest number since Dec. 3, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Starbucks, Xilinx and Waste Management have rallied to start the year, each securing all-time highs this week. According to two traders, there could be bigger breakouts.

Starbucks "has been stuck in a sideways range for 3½ years and then finally just broke out of it and broke out of it in a meaningful fashion," Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday. "Whenever a stock breaks out of a sideways range in either direction, it usually sees a big move in that direction."

Mark Tepper, president of Strategic Wealth Partners, sees a different winner among the bunch.

"Xilinx has the most upside," he said on "Trading Nation" on Tuesday. "There are some really high-growth, early-stage industries within tech. You've got artificial intelligence, 5G, autonomous vehicles, the 'internet of things,' and with Xilinx you get exposure to all of those."

Demand for Xilinx's programmable chips has exploded. The semiconductor company is expected to post $2.9 billion in full-year sales for 2018, a 59 percent increase from a year earlier. By 2020, sales are expected to have more than doubled its 2008 haul.

"This is an industry with an extremely high barrier to entry. It takes a really unique skillset to make it in programmable chips, so that bodes well for Xilinx," added Tepper. "I think they've got a long runway for outperformance."

Maley also sees long-term strength in Xilinx, but warns of trouble ahead.

"Xilinx has certainly broken out very, very nicely, but it has gotten very, very overbought," he said. "That one is going to be due for a little bit more of a pullback than some of the others on a near-term basis. Long-term, … it broke out nicely and should look pretty good."

Waste Management, which made records on Tuesday, is one name set to soar, says Maley.

"Here's a stock that since 2011 has made a nice series of higher highs and higher lows for quite some time," he said. "It's also one that outperformed during the correction of the fourth quarter and during the correction in February of 2018, so it gives you a little defensive play as well."

Xilinx is the best performer of the three this year, rallying 39 percent and leading the chips space. Starbucks and Waste Management have risen 8 percent and 11 percent, respectively.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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