I love bargain stocks, especially when they're hitting 52-week lows. Still, it can be instructive to also look at stocks that are riding high.

For one thing, they can make good sell candidates. More optimistically, we may be able to find a few companies that can continue their upward climbs.

In this series, I'll be searching industry-by-industry for stocks reaching 52-week highs. That way, we'll be able to make a few quick comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Consumer Services is one of them.

Below are the top nine companies in this space (by market cap) that are within spitting distance of their 52-week highs.

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD)

$78.70

$58.40

$79.48

17.3

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL)

$40.50

$28.70

$44.21

16.7

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS)

$39.45

$13.00

$39.88

NM

Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM)

$49.88

$32.50

$50.07

21.9

Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX)

$28.39

$18.70

$28.80

26.6

Marriott (NYSE: MAR)

$37.57

$24.40

$38.15

35.5

Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN)

$103.35

$51.70

$107.36

118.7

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

$57.62

$27.70

$58.78

NM

Royal Caribbean Cruises

$35.15

$19.00

$38.12

19.8


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of Oct. 25, 2010.

Fast-food, gambling, and vacation is how I characterize these nine. Let me highlight the gambling stocks.

Las Vegas Sands is up there in price these days, but fellow Fool Travis Hoium looked further, concluding that its growth may just justify its price. I remain skeptical. I prefer Wynn, but would want better prices there, too.

If you're wondering about MGM, it's closer to its 52-week lows than its highs. For Travis' take, click here.

For a list of the consumer services stocks near 52-week lows, click here.

If you are interested in reading more about these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.