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). Diversified financials is one of them.

Below are the top seven 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)

UBS (NYSE: UBS)

$16.98

$12.26

$18.48

13.2

Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN)

$115.78

$84.00

$121.90

18.4

Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM)

$30.42

$20.00

$30.87

13.7

T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW)

$54.69

$42.80

$59.44

23.0

Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP)

$51.19

$34.10

$52.10

13.9

Invesco (NYSE: IVZ)

$22.11

$16.40

$24.00

28.2

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS)

$17.52

$12.10

$17.94

14.5

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

UBS is the only big bank on this list. I mention this because the 52-week low list was dominated by big banks.

Otherwise, the one that stands out to me is Discover Financial. I profiled it a few months ago when it was riding a couple bucks lower. Click here for that. The reason Discover has been on my radar is that it gets little respect compared to American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. For example, it still trades at about half the price-to-book ratio of American Express.

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

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

American Express and Discover Financial Services are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Brookfield Asset Management is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. The Fool owns shares of T. Rowe Price Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.