Market Overview

Why McDonald's Is Popping (Hint: An Activist Could Be Responsible)

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Joel Elconin is the co-host of Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep, a daily trading idea radio show.

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) shares are up close to $95.00 in Thursday's session. The market appears to like the loss of Chairman and CEO Don Thompson, and his replacement Steve Easterbrook.

On Thursday afternoon, the issue may be rallying off positive comments made by activist Larry Robbins (CEO of Glenview Capital Management) at the Harbors Investment Conference.

On the day the leadership change was revealed, shares opened sharply higher ($88.78 to $91.50). After closing near $94 on Tuesday, the stock had a quiet day on Wednesday before moving to the intra-day high of $95.56 on Thursday.

Related Link: Former McDonald's CMO: Most Of The Seeds Of Destruction At McDonald's Were Planted Under Jim Skinner

McDonald's has not been a participant in the broad market rally since January 2013, when it ended the month at $95.29.

Over the past few years, the stock has been relegated primarily to a $90.00-$100.00 trading range. After making its all-time high in March 2013 at $103.34, it made a few more attempts to clear the triple digit hurdle for good, but was unable to do so.

Year-end tax selling pushed the issue to $87.62 on December 16, but firmly back above the $90.00 level the following day when it closed at $91.65.

Shares are still recovering from their plummet on December 8, when the company announced that global comparable-store sales fell 2.2 percent in November.

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